You might have seen people flying drones around and thought they were just another technological gimmick, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While you can most definitely use drones just to have some aerial fun with your friends, there are impressive real-world applications for this emerging technology that are transforming the way that we live. And the exciting thing is that this technology is still in its infancy; in the coming years, it’s likely that you’ll see drones everywhere. But we don’t need to think too much about the future just yet. We can see the uses of drones already. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the impressive ways that people and companies are using this technology.
When a search and rescue operation is underway, emergency response teams are usually held back by the inaccessibility of the terrain they’re trying to find the missing person. If a place has been affected by a mudslide, for example, then it can be extremely difficult to access the affected area. Most people that end up in serious, life-threatening conditions do so not because of the initial impact, but because they’re left too long before being found. Drone technology is allowing teams to visually inspect areas that they otherwise could not reach, helping them to find stranded people earlier than before.
We’re all well aware of the effects that climate change will have — and in fact, is having— on the human population. But there are also real threats to wildlife and delicate ecosystems, too. As such, it’s essential that scientists are able to fully monitor at-risk species. Drones allow them to do this in a much more straightforward manner since they can be used to follow species. With drones, scientists are able to have a much clearer understanding of what’s going on, and how they can help. If you’ve ever wondered why your weather app seems to be wrong all the time, then you’re not the only one. Predicting the weatheris notoriously difficult, and that’s in large part because the data that scientists use to predict the weather are stationary. They’re picking up signals that are ever-changing, so it’s not a very reliable way to predict what’s going to happen. Really, they’re just working with hints. Drone technology can radically improve weather prediction because it can collect data on the move; rather than a weather cycle just touching base with a stationary information collection source, the drone can follow the weather cycle and give more insightful updates. Most people don’t think too hard about the mining industry — they just reap the benefits. But once you get into it, you’ll see that it’s an extremely delicate and complicated operation, one that requires a lot of planning and capital. Anything that can help make the extraction process easier is very welcome. Once you understand how drones are changing mining, you’ll see why they’re becoming an essential tool for mine and quarry managers. In effect, they’re helping the people that need to make informed decisions get the answers they need.
It’s in the seller’s interest to attract as many bids for their property as possible. While conventional photography — for example, the inside of the house — is still very much a thing, real estate agents are increasingly turning to drone photography to offer a different perspective on a property. It’s especially prevalent when they’re selling rural homes where there’s a lot of surrounding land since it helps to contextualize the property better, and thus attract more interest, and higher bids.
If you’ve seen awesome footage of a festival or show in recent years, then in all likelihood, you’ll have a drone to thank for it. They’ve helped to bring a new and different experience to concertgoers — as well as those who couldn’t make it — by providing incredible footage that would be impossible to experience first-hand.
As well as providing photo and video uses, drones are also being used as part of the show, rather than just digitally recording it. At the highest-level shows, such as those offered by Disney and Universal Studios, you’ll see drones being used in the sky as projections. Don’t be surprised if they take over from fireworks in the not too distant future!
Surveillance has long been used by law enforcement agencies. The problem is that getting actual footage of illegal activities is extremely difficult, not to mention dangerous. While the use of drones as a surveillance tool is still in its infancy, it’s one that many police departments across the US have begun using. It’s typically used to monitor high-crime areas in a non-invasive and subtle way.
Wouldn’t it be cool to have your pizza delivered by a drone? Well, that reality isn’t very far away. In fact, in Iceland, it’s already a thing. Home food delivery really took off during and after the pandemic, with a whole host of companies setting up that facilitated the connection between customer and restaurant. The only problem is that those companies take a huge chunk of the overall order price — around 30%— which eats into the profits that restaurants can make. To get around this, some restaurants are working with companies that allow them to deliver their own food directly to the customer, via drone.
If you’ve ever been near a farm, then you’ll know that they’re pretty huge. There’s a lot of land there and taking a look at what’s going on at the far end of the farm is a difficult process. In many cases, farmers will hire a private plane to take photos of the land for them, but that’s expensive. For the cost of a drone, farmers can get daily updates on the health of the farm, which helps to minimize the loss of food and bring costs down.
You might know yet realize it, but we are living in a drone-heavy world, and that’s exciting!