I've always said that "Laziness is the mother of all invention".
Necessity is the mother of all work. We do things because we need to. However, we invent things to make doing the work easier. The perfect invention would do all our work and give us infinite free time.
... and then Skynet will kill us all. :-P
In a former life I designed the motion control for industrial robots, back in the 80's when robots were still almost science fiction, and we devoted a good few neurons here and there wondering how this technology would impact society. That's when I became aware of the "lazy is smart" meme. After all, any successful form of automation means more lazy time for someone else. And this was Munich where one small room of programmers had knocked off a case of good beer before lunchtime! - another kind of "lazy".
Although we could pick a more complimentary word, lazy gets people's attention and it is what they think we are when we are being efficient.
This type of "laziness" is also what one of my professor's said was a prerequisite for a good engineer.
I spent some time in Yuma, Arizona showing off the latest technology to some multi-starred generals. During one of our conversations he had an interesting comment:
"Give the hardest job to the laziest guy"
I pondered this for a moment before asking for an explanation. His response was that the laziest guy will always find the easiest way of getting the job done and in the process may find a more efficient way of doing it. You don't need a comittee to analyse and report when the inherent laziness of humans will, in most cases, provide the exact same information in a more timely manner.
That being said ... most innovation is merely the result of some lazy buggar looking to make his job easier.
A classmate from 35 years ago got into grad school and earned a Masters and then a PhD in Electricial Engineering because, by his own admission, he was lazy. He was looking for an easier way to do things. Others called what he was doing "research."
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.