For an interesting look at how an "amateur" inventor did a lot of out-of-the-box thinking (plastic frame, for example) which led to the now standard Glock pistol, see the just-published “Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun,” by Paul M. Barrett. The first 1/3 is about the design and design process, the rest is about contracts, legal hassles, and other issues.
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.