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Staff Sgt. Justin McDaniel tosses an Aerovironment Puma AE unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, or drone) into the air at Forward Operating Base Blessing, Afghanistan, in 2009. Drones are moving from the military to a range of civilian activities, and venture investors have already poured $40.9 million into drone-related startups this year, more than double the amount for last year.

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