A drone, also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), is an unpiloted aircraft - and it is not just in use for military purposes these days.
Drones are basically flying robots remotely controlled from the ground or that fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans. They are often used in the military, serving as the "eye in the sky" that monitors what is happening on the ground. Unlike humans, they need no rest, and they don't put pilots' lives at risk in combat zones. Small civilian drones have become increasingly popular worldwide for fun and recreation as well as tasks as varied as filming, land-surveying, agriculture and parcel delivery. Two drone incidents at the White House in 2015 - one drone crashed on the White House lawn - highlight concern that drones could also be used for terrorist acts.
A US military aircraft took control of 13 drones over Syria in January and tried to redirect them in an attack on a Russian airbase, a senior Russian official has claimed. Russia's military managed to thwart the attempt.