Earlier I added a tag wiki for and realised that it would probably be a good idea to add a tag synonym for drone, which is the other common term for a uav.

Is it better to suggest and add tag synonyms before they are needed, or wait until two synonymous tags get used and then combine them?

  • $\begingroup$ Good idea, notwithstanding Manisheath's comment below. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Nov 15 '12 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ See also the Area 51 discussion on the drones proposal. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Jun 5 '13 at 9:07

No, we should not add as a tag synonym for .

After some thought and discussion in answers here on the taxonomy needed, I have suggested tag wiki entries for , and .

If someone asks a question not covered by these tags and has to use the suggested tag instead, then I'll create a tag wiki for that too, following the same format.

For example:

Unmanned ground vehicle.

From the Wikipedia page:

An unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) is a vehicle that operates while in contact with the ground and without an onboard human presence. UGVs can be used for many applications where it may be inconvenient, dangerous, or impossible to have a human operator present. Generally, the vehicle will have a set of sensors to observe the environment, and will either autonomously make decisions about its behavior or pass the information to a human operator at a different location who will control the vehicle through teleoperation.

The UGV is the land-based counterpart to unmanned aerial vehicles and remotely operated underwater vehicles. Unmanned robotics are being actively developed for both civilian and military use to perform a variety of dull, dirty, and dangerous activities.

Note that:

  • $\begingroup$ I wholeheartedly agree, and especially with remotely operated vehicles being off-topic, though your wiki entry mentions remotely operated underwater vehicles in the last paragraph, that should probably be autonomous underwater vehicles. $\endgroup$ – ThomasH Nov 18 '12 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ @ThomasH - Thanks but I'm afraid that I can't see what you mean about replacing rov with auv, as far as I can see the tag wiki's are all consistent now. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Nov 18 '12 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ "The UGV is the land-based counterpart to unmanned aerial vehicles and remotely operated underwater vehicles" should be "unmanned underwater vehicles". $\endgroup$ – ThomasH Nov 18 '12 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ @ThomasH - Ah, I see what you mean. I used the expression remotely operated underwater vehicles on the auv tag wiki because that is the wiki page I linked to. The taxonomy is uuv with sibsets of rov and auv as subsets, alas uav and ugv don't have commonly used named subsets, so we have to specifi autonomous uav and autonomous ugv for them. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Nov 18 '12 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ As a man of autonomous boats, I must insist you include USV for unmanned surface vehicles. $\endgroup$ – Josh Vander Hook Feb 12 '13 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Josh - If someone asks a question about unmanned surface vehicles, feel free to tag it with a usv tag, update the tag wiki in line with the auv, uav and ugv tags and then edit those tags to cross reference usv into the autonomous vehicles hierarchy. *8') According to google though, you might want to use asv rather than usv, since autonomous surface vehicle is in more common usage than unmanned surface vehicle (24k vs 142k hits). $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Feb 12 '13 at 21:03

I foresee a problem with this particular taxonomy. Or at least with the implied synonym direction.

While I agree that drone is another common name for UAV (thanks in large part to DIYDrones), drone does not necessarily mean aerial vehicles.

From the Wikipedia disambiguation page for Drone:


  • Robot in general
    • Unmanned combat aerial vehicle
    • Unmanned aerial vehicle
    • Remotely operated underwater vehicle
    • Target drone
    • Unmanned ground vehicle

The way the OP is worded implies having UAV be the master tag with drone as a synonym. I would suggest that we follow Wikipedia's example and have drone as the master tag and have UAV, UUV, and UGV synonymous with it instead.

  • $\begingroup$ I think it depends on how fine we want the tagging to be. I can see that a general drone tag might be useful, but I can also see that people might want to target their questions using uav or ugv tags. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Nov 16 '12 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkBooth In which case the tags shouldn't be synonymous, they should be separate. Where drone for autonomous vehicles and RC for remote controlled vehicles indicate the post is concerning the method of operation for the robot. And where UAV, UUV, and UGV indicate that the post is about how the robot copes with the particular phase of matter that it's operating environment is in (solid for ground, liquid for water, gas for air). $\endgroup$ – embedded.kyle Nov 16 '12 at 14:09
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    $\begingroup$ I agree, which is why I wanted to have this discussion. One alternative is to explain in the drone wiki that questions about uav's, uuv's and ugv's should use those tags in preference to the more general drone tag. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Nov 16 '12 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkBooth I think that is a very good idea. Developing really good tag wikis from the start will make for a better overall site and make maintenance much easier as we move forward. Hopefully we can avoid the problems with tags like we have over on EE.SE. $\endgroup$ – embedded.kyle Nov 16 '12 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, I've suggested tag wiki entries for uav, auv and ugv. If someone posts a drone tagged question I'll create a tag wiki for that too. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Nov 18 '12 at 1:15

IIRC, the synonym interface doesn't let you suggest nonexistent tags as syns. The mod tag merge interface does, though (it has merge and syn options).

So once we have protems, we can get the synonyming done easily. Though there isnt any harm in suggesting a syn now if the system lets you.

  • $\begingroup$ So is the pre-emptive solution to retag a UAV-tagged question with DRONE then merge it? $\endgroup$ – Andrew Nov 15 '12 at 9:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Andrew: Nah. No retagging. If the system lets us (I doubt it will), then we can suggest a syn right now. More accurately, RocketMagnet can (robotics.stackexchange.com/privileges/suggest-tag-synonyms). But that's pretty useless, since you need votes on it as well, and we don't have enough users with that much rep. Or we can wait till the protem appointment and get it done with no troubles. After my appointment on Chem, I immediately did some preemptive merg+synonyming :) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Nov 15 '12 at 9:20

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