TAMPA, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Students at the University of South Florida will be able to borrow drones from the university’s library beginning this fall semester.

WESH  reported that the Tampa campus will allow students to borrow the drones if they need them for their school-related projects.

This announcement comes a couple of days after the National Park Service announced a temporary ban on drones.

USF wanted to make this technology available to its students. The university purchased two drones with leftover grant money. They are able to take aerial photos and video.

“We have a global sustainability program, and they are mapping out the campus to see energy usage, so they can use the drones to help map out the campus,” Bill Garrison, Dean of USF Libraries, explained to WESH. “There are a lot of opportunities for research and learning by using drones. And the faculty can use it, too.”

Before borrowing one a drone, students will need to enroll in a training course and explain how the drone will help with their project. Also, a faculty member will supervise the student while they are using the drone on campus.

The school wants to keep the drones on campus, unless a professor makes an exception.  Each student that borrows a drone will be responsible for any damages that may occur.

“One of the things many libraries have struggled with is how do you become a real part of the campus and not be viewed as a book warehouse,” Garrison told WESH. “I find it very exciting that we are able to do this, and I think the students will appreciate it.”

The drones are valued at over $1,500 each.


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