Despite the negative connotation attached to their name in the early days, drone technology has really redeemed itself these past few years.
With their initial allure being airborne bodies that could delve into places deemed inhospitable for humans, drones were our fearless minions. Now, drone tech has become augmented with thermo-graphic sensors and multi-spectral cameras, and has demonstrated its potential to benefit practically any field that it’s applied to.
Surveillance, pesticide applications, the monitoring of wildfires, advertising, television and healthcare are just some areas that drones have contributed to recently. The following points are just some noteworthy drone applications.
Drones can survey the landscapes no human ever could. Thousands of digital images are then pieced together to create 3D maps. These maps differ from the 3D maps produced by military or government satellites because they can be made by virtually anyone, as affordable drones put the technology for 3D mapping within reach.
There are already software companies, like the Swiss-owned Pix4D, that specialize in creating 3D maps from drone images. These maps were utilized for Haitian relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, where they helped farmers manage flung-out crops. 3D maps made by drones are now aiding mining companies seeking to open pit mines as well.
Other uses for drones are helping out with overseeing transport maintenance projects and oil company explorations. Shell, for example, deploys drones to hard-to-reach places like tall towers or offshore oil rigs because it is a safer and more humane than sending employees to perform such tasks.
Drones are more than weapons and that they can monitor fields and protect lands proves it. Governments are already using drones to monitor for fires. Conservation groups can now produce maps of their areas of interest in a few hours rather than the traditional few months that it used to take them, and forest rangers also benefit from drones as they are able to stay out of the line of fires thanks to their aerial scanning.
Drones also serve in rescue missions. Search and rescue missions are aided by the use of well-equipped drones that will soon become the standard way of covering rescues in inaccessible terrains. Preventing avalanches, delivering medication, and locating victims of a natural disaster are additional areas in which drones are coming to the rescue.
Also, did you know there is an entire class of submersible drones, built for oceanic/lake uses and even consumer pools?
For some time now, Amazon, Google and Walmart have been set on revolutionizing the shipping industry by testing aircraft drone delivery. Unfortunately, this testing phase has not yet been surpassed. However, Google has announced its plans to make drone delivery a reality by 2017 and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects to finalize comprehensive rules for drone use by June 2016 in preparation.
Here’s how it will work: Drones will become an addition to a company’s delivery arsenal. The carriers will deploy large trucks with an on-board drone fleet and enable packages to be delivered to a few homes at once. Delivery trucks will then park and the drones will deliver packages within the radius of their location.
Drones and Mobile
It’s only a matter of time before drones start monitoring signals from mobile devices. Developers and entrepreneurs could take advantage of the fact that drones can determine mobile device locations from Wi-Fi and cellular transmissions signals and gather data that can then be sold to companies or used to refine ad delivery.
This approach was already tested earlier this year by a Singapore-based location to gather marketing data, and although it has the potential for benefit we hope that regulations in the area of drone technology become effective soon to avoid potential breaches to security.
Here at Lolay, we expect to see an acceleration in the software related to drones. We are devising new ways of leveraging this platform and its related opportunities. But we rather not do it alone, so contact us today with any ideas you may have about innovating with this tech and don’t forget to subscribe to our email for nothing but exciting and useful insights!