A pilot prepares to launch an unmanned aerial vehicle from a ground control station earlier this year. The Air Force is moving to treat psychological stress faced by remote pilots and analysts a little more like the effects of traditional warfare. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
John Moore/Getty Images

The Warfare May Be Remote But The Trauma Is Real

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/525413427/526085133" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The USNS Bowditch, shown here in open waters, was in the South China Sea to pick up two underwater drones when one of the drones was confiscated by China. CHINFO, Navy Visual News via AP hide caption

toggle caption
CHINFO, Navy Visual News via AP

In China's Drone Seizure And Return, A Strategic Message To U.S.

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/506401491/506401492" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An unmanned underwater vehicle, or UUV, was deployed by the oceanographic and survey ship USNS Bowditch (seen here in a U.S. Navy file photo) — but it was retrieved by a Chinese navy ship. U.S. Navy hide caption

toggle caption
U.S. Navy

China Says It Will Return Seized U.S. Underwater Drone In 'Appropriate' Way

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/505982198/505982317" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Patrick Meier (center, in cap) flies a drone in Nepal after the earthquake in 2015. Meier and his team were able to to capture detailed images of damage around the capital, Kathmandu. He believes using this technology will make crisis mapping even more effective for disaster response. Courtesy of Patrick Meier/WeRobotics hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Patrick Meier/WeRobotics

When Disaster Strikes, He Creates A 'Crisis Map' That Helps Save Lives

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/495795717/495965272" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

A U.S. Predator drone sits on the tarmac at the Kandahar military airport in southern Afghanistan in 2010. The U.S. has been using drones more and more frequently since the Sept. 11 attacks. They have been highly effective on the battlefield, but have raised legal and ethical issues. Massoud Hossaini /AP hide caption

toggle caption
Massoud Hossaini /AP

The Rise Of The Drone, And The Thorny Questions That Have Followed

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/493004533/493073658" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The UNL NIMBUS Lab drone team hopes their technology will help ensure safer prescribed burns by keeping firefighters out of dangerous terrain. Ariana Brocious/NET News hide caption

toggle caption
Ariana Brocious/NET News

Drones That Launch Flaming Balls Are Being Tested To Help Fight Wildfires

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/488477317/488477318" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A drone takes a practice flight in Virginia with medical supplies — part of a project to evaluate the flying machines for use in humanitarian crises. Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images