You look up to the sky…is it a bird? A plane? Nope, nothing to see here folks, it’s just a drone.
Drones, otherwise known as “dynamic remotely operated navigation equipment” have skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade, turning them into a hot topic for discussion on the implications of so many drones in our daily lives. In fact, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) claims that over 2.5 million drones are sold each year with that number projected to reach 7 million a year by 2020. For those of you bad at math, that represents a 180%+ increase.
From military applications to delivery services and everything in-between, this revolutionary step forward in technology will have far-reaching impacts on a great deal of industries.
While this newfound technology is exciting, it also comes with a range of challenges, from privacy concerns to airspace regulations and safety. Rules and regulations can be both local and federal, with the laws on the books in a constant state of flux. Most experts agree that there is a long road ahead before clearly defined and standardized regulations are encompassing enough to address most concerns.
Despite this area of legal limbo, drones are being put to good use in a range of industries and applications worldwide. This article will explore some of the more popular use cases for drones. Read on to learn more…
1. DELIVERY SYSTEMS
One of the most widely adopted use cases for drones involves the delivery of items. While many retailers such as Amazon are moving to next day or same day delivery, drones could help improve “time to delivery” even further, potentially having items on your doorstep within hours.
2. PREVENTING AND FIGHTING CRIME
Would you run a red light if you knew a camera was watching you? Probably not. Drones have already been used extensively for surveillance in military applications but could also have potential to monitor and surveil events such as concerts or sports games for security purposes.
Drones also provide a unique aerial perspective on crime scenes, allowing for additional intelligence gathering on individuals or evidence that may be useful in solving a crime.
3. NATURAL CONSERVATION AND ECOLOGY
Drones may be used to document, record and interpret changes in natural ecosystems, giving a unique perspective on erosion for example. In other cases, drones may be utilized to easily drop seeds and plant fields with pre-germinated seed pods.
4. EMERGENCY MEDICINE FOR FIRST RESPONDERS
In the event of an accident or acute illness, every second matter. Traffic and distance often prevent ambulances from reaching the scene in time. Hospitals and medical facilities are looking into ways in which they can utilize and deploy drones to reach the scene of an accident even before EMTs and ambulances. Such drones may contain tools, medicine or other items that any first responder or bystander could use to help. The drone could provide a visual of the scene to a doctor at the ER who could direct the bystander on what to do in real time until the ambulance arrives.
From sports games to concerts, the way in which we can now explore, view and experience these events has changed dramatically. Drones with 360 degree drone apps allow affording the viewer to see the event from any angle.
Drones have also become highly popular with photographers who re-purpose the cameras to capture moments or video at weddings, outdoor parties and events, as well as aerial shots for real estate sales and surveys.
6. INDUSTRIAL INSPECTION
From standard surveying to health and hazard inspections, drones can easily and safely go where humans may not want or be able to. Drones can save time, money and keep inspectors out of harm’s way. Whereas a chemical leak might harm an inspector, a drone can operate without fail.
The above examples represent only a small fraction of the use cases drones are expected to fill in the coming years. With the field of drones globe rapidly evolving, one thing is certain, drones will become a larger part of our daily lives from this point onward.