For a fact, Saadany's quote in the last paragraph isn't the usual hype. Optical designs seem to have exponentially increasing cost curves as components are added, with the result that performance compromises are required to get anywhere near a price point. The result is sometimes mediocre performance, but sometimes the design just can't be produced economically. I'd like to see some of these designs, just out of curiosity, since I don't have any optical design issues at the moment.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.