An Animated History of the Drone | Mashable

An Animated History of the Drone | Mashable

The drone revolution is over 100 years in the making. Here, we take an animated look at the past, present and future of unmanned aerial technology.

Written and produced by Eric Larson

Animated by Alisa Stern

Illustrated by Bob Al-Greene

Narrated by Haile Owusu

Special thanks:

– Arthur Holland Michel, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of the Drone, Bard College:

– Richard Whittle, author, “Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution”:

– Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchiari, Reporter, Mashable

– Matt Silverman, Editorial Director, Mashable


-“Black Vortex,” Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech

-“Hall of the Mountain King,” Incompetech

-“Virtutes Instrumenti,” Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech

-“Colussus,” Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech

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Mashable is the leading independent news site for all things tech, social media, and internet culture


  1. 😎 ATP Gamer 😈 on May 7, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    Soy el unico de aqui que habla español xD

  2. Josh on May 7, 2022 at 6:34 pm


  3. Doc Duct Tape on May 7, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    It’s not a "grey area" in the killing of American citizens who are not at the time committing any violence on anyone.

  4. Ari Ziv on May 7, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    This video is impeccable thank you!

  5. Alperen Aydın on May 7, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    Can I use it for my homework?

  6. Izzy True on May 7, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    Your f…..g US dromes have just ruined my families Christmas holidays. And many others. Greetings from the BRITAIN.

  7. Sanchit Singhal on May 7, 2022 at 6:40 pm

    which software was this animation video made in??

  8. azem321 on May 7, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    correction innocent civilians

  9. faizullah firozi on May 7, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    You will lose this match

    Islam is once in the all
    World that is right rlgn

  10. Flawless Binary on May 7, 2022 at 6:44 pm


  11. on May 7, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    بررسی تاریخچه کامل پهپاد از سال 1849 تا 2019

  12. DethronerX on May 7, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    update required for music videos, film : D

  13. militiaUSA F on May 7, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    typical –leaves out huge gaps like Israel’s first drones were imported US made telydyne ryan firebees, Israel called them Shadmit drones, furthermore the US flew several thousand drone missions in Vietnam and converted countless planes to drone use during the cold war period

  14. Akash Yadav on May 7, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    Sorry sir,
    You have got wrong information,
    The unmanned plane was frist invented by shivkar talpade.
    Please provide correct information to people

  15. cloudsplitter24 on May 7, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    I agree with everything said.  What needs to be addressed is why model aircraft and their pilots, currently defined by congress to be self policed by the AMA (community organization), are now being persecuted by the FAA.  Existing privacy law already protects the individual from those who would misuse the tech.  Define spaces to keep models away from full scale aircraft, but don’t redefine what is a model airplane, and it’s pilot, those are already clearly delineated from the drones described here.

  16. kez on May 7, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    how about german V-1? is this not a drone?

  17. Chaosmancer7 on May 7, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    I’m very disappointed in this video. 30 seconds given to discussing any aspect of drones that are not government surveillance or military kill strikes.

    Conservation, Agriculture, Entertainment (filming movies), Transportation of Goods, Providing infrastructure, exploration of hostile environments, search and rescue.

    All of that is covered in only 6% of this video, a 30 second blip in a tale of death, killing, and how dangerous technology can be.

  18. modular on May 7, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    "by 2018"

  19. Aaron Johnson on May 7, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    I thought I was going to see an early version of the Mavic or something, but really good video

  20. JP Kelly on May 7, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    GREAT JOB on the history lesson – I am giving a community talk on drones, its history, the present day ”explosion’ of these litl’ rascals and where we are headed commercially and ‘hobbying’. Thanks again for an informative and well presented drone saga.

  21. Kr on May 7, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    how u do tthis animation ??? which software ??? tell me bro ??

  22. Syrkle on May 7, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    8:28 – Illuminati confirmed

  23. megan on May 7, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    Thank you so much! This has really helped me with my school work!

  24. Akshay Sapra on May 7, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    9/11 attacks weren’t just on NYC

  25. YoSocial on May 7, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    There basically mini planes that can do a lot of stuff It also is controllered with a controller

  26. Doctor Prototype on May 7, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    Mine plummeted in to the lake. I’ll leave it to the experts

  27. Hunter Wolfe on May 7, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    I got mine stuck in a tree ;-;

  28. meep moop on May 7, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    Do more of these.They are great information on drones

  29. Tim Martin on May 7, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    im only watching this for my security licensing renewal with ADT

  30. Miles universum 2008 on May 7, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    Aerial map were done early in the war by the germans, japaneese and soviets. It was not an exclusive-english or american idea.

  31. M Sibilkoloft on May 7, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    So better to change the title to ”An Animated History of the Drone in Israel and USA”.
    Because if not, it’s an inquorate history.
    Have a look at the Drone development history in Iran-Iraq war in 80s.

  32. Raw MEAT on May 7, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    I love this animation style vid and the info! I found a short article of this also

  33. Brian on May 7, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    that last line gave me chills

  34. William Wolfcastle on May 7, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    The first drone I remember seeing was in The Green Hornet 1966 through 1967 with Bruce Lee as Kano Green Hornet ask Bruce Lee to release the Drone and a drone flies out the back of a car with video and audio surveillance

  35. Miranda Turner on May 7, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    35 states INTRODUCED drone legislation…..LANGUAGE IS IMPORTANT. Some states want to APPEAR like they are concerned yet like Washington state in 2021, HAS YET TO PASS SAID LEGISLATION!

    Do not blindly trust authority with their vague rhetoric and baseless promises. They do what is best for profit and the lobbyist lining their pockets, not the everyday average person just trying to get by and live their life as they see best

  36. MrManiac3 on May 7, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    I was watching a presentational video from the 1950s about Operation Teapot and related nuclear bomb tests, and the narrator mentioned jet drones. This period between World War 2 and the Vietnam War is missing from this story of unmanned aircraft. Which is fine, but it is a part of that story missing anyway.

  37. Anuradha Graphics on May 7, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    According to cnn these drone kills are done by russians though they were created by us. And must tighten sanctions against them.

  38. Moin Mahmud on May 7, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Very informative and unbiased.

  39. sennen04 on May 7, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    this is not history of the drone this is just saying how many people were killed in their own countries for no reason. even if they are terrorists they are in yemen somalia and other places and are as you said "an entire ocean away" U.S drone strikes should not be happening in other counties. killing so many civilans makes the people that are carrying them out and people that surport them just as bad as the terrorist’s from 911. if the U.S wants to shoot some people with a drone do it on their own land. drones are also used (mostly) for non military purposes and this focuses only on military drones.

  40. DrZiggy87 on May 7, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    Subtle fear mongering at its finest. 

  41. Rashid Abbas on May 7, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    0:48 – US killed so many innocent people in Pakistan through drone strikes. World was silent. Thank God this video didn’t call all of them terrorists.
    I know there were terrorists. But drone strikes always killed innocent people.

  42. DRONE HDTV - DRONE JOURNEY on May 7, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    Please can I make a video pilot to show your video.

  43. TheReal11Bravo on May 7, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    Who else is here for CINF 301?

  44. shane alexander on May 7, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    what about R2? He’s a drone, one of the O.G’s

  45. PyroToast3 on May 7, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    0:22 im pretty sure germany is supposed to not have austria, poland and czechia

  46. kanishka johnson on May 7, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    Kindly provide your whatsapp no. or mail i need to contact regarding your content for i need some help.
    My Phone no.=7654423842

  47. Flopsy on May 7, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    An important point to note: "As with traditional strikes, civilians can get caught up in the crossfire…" Drones are not the only flying death machines.

  48. Max on May 7, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    6:16 The Bureau reported that only 957 civilian has been killed by this evil machine. They call this “collateral damage”. Now, people are not that fool to believe that this number is remotely accurate, they mean 957 x 20 killed, maybe then I will believe…

  49. Bud Stephens on May 7, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Well don’t do bad things to people

  50. isunktheship on May 7, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Pretty great video, most tech originates with the military before civilian application. Cargo planes will be unmanned in our lifetimes, as well as possibly global wireless internet.

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