Tweet controlled drones? Twitter just patented that (watch out Marcel Hirscher)

Lynsey Barber
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Tweet-controlled drones: What could possibly go wrong? (Source: Getty)

Drones raise enough questions as it is - where can they fly, who can fly them, how do you avoid accidents, to name just a few - but imagine if they were controlled simply with a tweet?

Sounds a a little crazy, yes, but not too crazy for Twitter. The social network has filed a patent for "messaging-enabled unmaned aerial vehicles" (that'll be drones).

That could mean using 140 character messages to fly the drones or using it to take selfies. It could also send tweets itself and even be controlled by crowdsourced messaging. Although the benefits and applications of such features are not exactly clear, here's how Twitter explains it in the filing:

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) carries a camera, sends data from the camera, and receives commands. The UAV is connected to a messaging platform. Pictures or video clips received from the UAV are selected and placed in messages broadcast by an account associated with the UAV. Video footage from the camera is live-streamed in a card-type message. Account holders of the messaging platform may control the UAV with commands embedded in messages and directed towards an account associated with the UAV. Controllable elements of the UAV include UAV location, camera orientation, camera subject, UAV-mounted lighting, a UAV-mounted display, a UAV-mounted projector, UAV-mounted speakers, and a detachable payload. UAV control may be determined through democratic means. Some UAV functionality may be triggered through aggregated engagements on the messaging platform. The UAV may include a display screen and/or a microphone to provide for telepresence or interview functionality.

A tweet-controlled drone future awaits (maybe) as does more of this, if it comes to pass.

The champion skier Marcel Hirscher had a narrow escape just yesterday when a drone fell from the sky.

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