Drones are without a doubt one of the best technologies today, and they continue to disrupt the commercial and private way of life. Drone manufacturers are spending sleepless nights in meetings and hunching on a design table trying to come up with the next best drone. The use of drones has trickled down to civilians use, and there is an increase of drone manufacturers intent on meeting the demand.
The technology used in drones allow them only short flight times, and a limited payload, however, the full scope of the technology is unknown. If the manufacturers can advance the technology, we could see drones that could fly for hours on a single charge and carry more weight.
Table of Contents
- 1 Current Use of Drones
- 2 Surprising Drone Applications of the Future
- 3 Conclusion
Current Use of Drones
There are general use and special use drones in the market. However, some can undertake two or more uses, and it comes down to the owner. While there is a lot of talk on hobbyist drone pilots, there are several ways that you can apply it on a professional basis. Some of the common uses of drones include
- Precision crop monitoring in agriculture
- Fishing for dropping bait
- Photography and filmmaking
- Private and public border surveillance
- Search and rescue
- Parcel delivery
- Military and police law enforcement
- Collection of data
- Geographic mapping
- Storm tracking
- Building and machine safety operations
There is increased investment being channeled towards drone development. This only means that we should brace ourselves for a fascinating turn of events in the drone industry. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos surprised the world by introducing drones to make same-day deliveries. While he is yet to unveil the drone service globally, it only points towards the potential that is brewing behind closed factory doors.
Surprising Drone Applications of the Future
The drone industry is still in its infancy stages but so much have been done. However, there is still more in the works, and it will surprise you on the possibilities that are there. According to David McKenna from Flyweight Filming, drones will become part and parcel of our daily lives. They could be like smartphones; you will not imagine a world without them. Here are the top ten ways that drones will be used in the future and it will blow your socks off.
1 Delivery of Medical Supplies
In various parts of the world, millions of people today die or live in pain due to lack of sufficient medical supplies. While medical personnel have the will to save lives, their mission and work are curtailed by lack of adequate medical supplies. Lack of proper infrastructure in these areas has made the work of institutions which provide these crucial needs much harder.
A California based startup, Zipline, is looking to ease the burden of delivering medical supplies to far-flung areas in the world. They are already delivering vaccines, medicine, and blood to remote parts of the eastern Africa country of Rwanda. Their 22-pound drones called Zips, can carry up to 3 pounds of medical supplies, and deploy them via parachute.
The Zips have an operational range of 75 miles on a single charge, which means that the pilot will not keep it in their line of sight. The company is lobbying to get an exception from the FAA, which requires that the pilot must have the drone n sight when flying. They aim to start delivering medical supplies to Remote areas of Nevada, and island communities that are off the coast of Washington and Maryland.
2 Last Mile Parcel Delivery
In 2016, Jeff Bezos the Amazon billionaire expressed his desire to make parcel delivery much easier. Ever since he made that announcement, several other companies have come up and are testing their parcel delivery drones. UPS and Dominos are some of the notable companies that have had some success with their last mile drone services. Amazon is in the testing phase of their drone delivery service, and they are currently delivering to customers who are near their warehouses.
UPS released a video in 2017 showing a drone launching truck. They are using the technology to lessen the burden of their delivery personnel where in most cases they are forced to drive long distances to deliver a single parcel, especially in rural America. According to the company, a driver can launch the drone to deliver a package to a client while the truck is in motion, and after delivery, it will fly back to the truck.
Other companies such as DHL are also experimenting with drone delivery. The result is that they will marginally reduce their overhead and improve their customer experience. This is something to look forward to especially if they can be able to make long distance deliveries and much heavier parcels.
3 Law Enforcement
Governments and private security companies continue to face an uphill task of fighting crime. There have been several innovations that have been put in place to curb crime, but the perpetrators of crime seem to outsmart them every time. For example, have been found to be effective in deterring criminals; however, they are stationary, and they can be bypassed easily. Drones, when used for surveillance, can track trespassers and people on the wrong side of the law and be able to minimize their activities.
In China, there are over 30 g0overnement agencies using drones for surveillance work. In a viral YouTube video, a drone that looks like a dove is seen patrolling the skies and giving real-time feed to a ground station where officers closely monitor the activities of the people below. This comes at a cost, several organizations are up in arms against this use of drones citing privacy infringement, but logically, it is a price worth paying for your overall security.
4 Domestic Military Application
Drones were once the forte of the military, but not anymore. The sales of commercial drones keep on rising and will surpass military spending on drones. However, Drones have been used in the military to do the dirty work of reconnaissance work on terror groups abroad. However, the biggest threat from insurgents is emanating from within our borders, and the military is using drones to gather intelligence on potentially dangerous persons of interest.
There is a minimal application in border security especially now that immigration has continued to pose a headache. Australia which borders the ocean on all sides is already using drones to beef up their security to keep an eye on who is entering and leaving the country.
In recent times, wildfires have caused havoc on a large scale, and this has set back governments and individuals. Unfortunately, there is no way that we can prevent the fire from starting, but it can be managed to avoid fire damage. Much closer home, fires have the caused devastation and, in most cases, the firefighters take too long to respond, or they do not have enough firefighting equipment.
Various companies have been testing drones for fighting fighters on multiple scales, and a few have succeeded. The Aerial Fire Drone recently passed the Homestead Test, and it will be rolled out to the public soon. The drone is developed by researchers at the prestigious University of Nebraska-Lincoln that will be used in fighting fires in the hard to reach places.
6 Guided Tours
Increased competition in the real estate sector has seen many real estate developers use innovative ways to attract house hunters to their properties. The traditional method is time-consuming and tiring. The use of the internet to give details of the property is not enough, and so drones are the next best option.
Real estate agents can use a drone to take videos of their property and provide their clients with an immersive experience. While some might argue that you can do so with a DSLR or other hand-held cameras, drones are much better. They give an aerial view of the property which can create a different perspective of the property. More so, they will provide the agents with more room to be creative and sell more properties.
In MIT, there is talk of drones to give visitors and new students, guided tours of the campus. The drones for this kind of work will, however, need to be small, say the size of a tennis ball or baseball, and they could give guided tours to museums, real estate, universities, cities, zoos, basically anywhere.
7 Water and Winter Sports
In the modern age, if an experience is not on tape, then it never happened. Water sports can be challenging to catch on tape since many of the devices we have are not waterproof. With that said, you can take away the risk of douching your smartphone or tablet with water by going getting a waterproof drone.
Companies such as SwellPro continue to push the envelope and have created a drone that can fly over large bodies of water. They can also be dunked into water, and they will continue working just fine. However, if you cannot afford to buy a waterproofed drone, some videos and articles give tutorials on how to waterproof a drone using locally available materials. This way you can get the perfect shot of water sports and make a career out of it.
8 Shooting Entire Film Scenes
The movie industry has come from far, and it still has a long way to go. Today the in thing is making 3D films. However, the process is long and requires big budgets. For a director to get good aerial shots, they use expensive cranes and helicopters; this discourages many would be filmmakers. The modern drones of today have high-quality cameras, and they can bring a whole new perspective to the movie industry.
There are drones today that can carry a huge payload such as the DJI Inspire 2. With advancing technology, we are sure to see drones increase their payload carrying capacity and this means that we will have a better time at the cinemas.
9 Art Installations
Drone design requires that artists be part of the design team. However, various artists are using drones to create art. Bart Jansen for example, a Dutch artist has made a rather unusual piece of art with a drone. He is calling t the cat-copter, half cart, and half machine drone. When his cat died in a car accident, Bart thought it best to send Oliver, his dead cat’s name, to fly with the birds.
The most futuristic art installation yet, however, is by Swift Drift who in partnership with BMW Group had a flying sculpture consisting of 300 illuminated drones above the ocean in Miami, behind the Faena hotel. These are some examples of how drones can be used to make art, and there is more to come.
10 Drone Advertising
Advertising much like the music industry, there has been a lot of ways to bring content to the audience. Drones have already started disrupting the advertising sector. One of the ways that can be integrated into advertising is when they are used as flying billboards. This will bring a new perspective to advertising, and they will catch the eye of the intended audience. Drones can also be used to carry and drop branded promotional giveaways into crowds of people, in the street, or at a festival.
The future of drones is bright, and there are more ways to integrate them into everyday life. Currently, most of the applications of drones are in photography and media use, but that will change. The industry is still in its infancy stages, and we can only speculate what will become of the drone and how we will use them. However, the one area that they need to have more focus on is in agriculture, they have the potential to increase food production while keeping the costs low. Farmers could accurately plant their crops using drones, and carry out farm management practices.
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