Drones are commonplace these days. So much so, that people barely look up when they hear a whirr in the sky.
They are remote-controlled cars that can fly, making a fun hobby for older kids and adults. Like a modern version of flying a kite, but where wind is not needed or wanted.
However, drones have an influence which reaches much further than the local hobby store. Their use spans across multiple industries, making efficiencies, improving standards, lowering costs, and saving lives. Drones are changing modern living, and here’s how:
· Aerial Photography. Whether it is wildlife videos and images, real estate sales, wedding photos, sports broadcasting, or simply for fun – photography has been changed forever since the introduction of drones.
· Photogrammetry (3D mapping). Architectural designs, geological surveying, archaeology, and more all employ drones.
· Property Surveillance. Personal, home, and business security is an ever-growing concern, and the use of drones plays a key role in that market.
· Military Use. Drones are changing the face of modern warfare. They are used for surveillance, for finding enemy submarines, for ground attacks, for support of manned aircraft, for tracking enemy ships, and for infantry support over inhospitable terrain.
· Border Control. Immigration and the restriction of contraband are hot political topics. They are issues which will be resolved in part by more extensive use of surveillance drones.
· Wilderness Research. Drones are ideal for accessing, filming, studying, and analysing hard to reach or inhospitable locations.
· Forest Fire Location and Detection. A drone’s ability to cover large areas quickly and at low cost is ideal for forestry work. When combined with thermal imaging cameras, drones are an excellent tool for preventing and controlling forest fires.
· Police Support. Limiting crime through more extensive, yet flexible surveillance is a practical and low-cost method of policing. Drones can track large crowds at football matches and protests, provide court room evidence of street crime, follow cars more safely in high-speed chases, help keep police commanders informed during riots, and much more.
· Rapid Response during Natural Disasters. Drones can gather much needed information from earthquakes, tsunamis, or flooded areas very quickly. They can also provide first aid kits, water sterilising packets, or radio communication systems to those cut off from rescue workers.
· Precision Agriculture. Gathering data from remote fields, monitoring mountain livestock, and spraying large fields with fertilizer, insecticide, pesticide, or fungicide are all ideal tasks for drones.
· Avalanche & Landslide Surveillance. Monitoring hillsides and ski slopes effectively can prevent tragedy before disaster strikes. Finding survivors quickly also save lives.
· Wildlife Surveillance and Environmental Surveys. Tracking remote colonies of birds, fish, and other wildlife is much easier with a drone.
· Search and Rescue. Drones are vital for finding people lost at sea, in the mountains, in the wilderness, or in deserts.
As global population continues to grow, people are living in ever more densely crowded places. The need to utilise the free space in the sky is clear and drones are a great tool to work this untapped resource.
With the industry expanding quickly, the resources to research drone design have also grown, making for faster, safer drones with extended ranges and flying times. Raw material know-how is also making drones stronger and lighter, while improved production techniques are reducing costs to make low-cost drones an affordable solution to many problems.
This list has not been exhausted. There are still unique uses for drones which individuals are undertaking and potential uses which have yet to be exploited.
Where drones will be used in the future is an exciting prospect and one that is only limited by drone technology and humankind’s imagination.