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An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, as an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), and also referred by several other names, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. The flight of UAVs may be controlled with various kinds of autonomy : either by a given degree of remote control from an operator, located on the ground or in another vehicle, or fully autonomously, by onboard computers.
Historically, UAVs were simple remotely piloted aircraft, but autonomous control is increasingly being employed : UAV stands nowadays at the crossroads of aviation, electromagnetics, radiocommunication, computer science, avionics, automation, cybernetics, and even core fields of artificial intelligence such as computer vision, decision-making, machine learning and robotics.
UAVs are often preferred for missions that are too "dull, dirty or dangerous"for manned aircraft. They have and are mostly found in military and special operation applications. Though, UAVs are increasingly finding uses in civil applications, such as policing and surveillance, aerial filming and hobbyist First Person Video drone racing.