In the past, drones were used by the military for target killing and to search for injured soldiers as well. During the mid-to-late 2000s, drones became popular among hobbyists. In 2010, a French company Parrot launched its first consumer drone AR Drone and thus the era of consumer drones began.
People have both love and hate relationship with the flying machine. Either as a killing machine or in case of selfie drones but what really revolutionary about drones is its commercial use and how they are creating new businesses and helping other businesses to reduce cost and increase productivity.
In a report, Goldman Sachs estimated that between 2016 and 2020, drone technologies will reach to a total market size of $100 billion and almost 30% of this figure will be used in consumer and commercial drones. Enough with the history, for now, let’s talk about the applications of commercial drones in the modern world and how they are going to make our future a better place to live.
Farming and Agriculture
The world needs food and by 2050, the world population will be 10 billion but we can’t grow vegetables on Mars, not yet. So we have limited land and drones can help us to accomplish this goal.
Agriculture drones are used by farmers to monitor crop progress, field analysis, seed planting, pest and disease invasion.
With the help of advanced sensors and digital imaging processing, farmers could gather real-time data of hundreds of acres of land in just a single flight, which saves both time and effort.
Thermal sensors could detect the parts of the field that have become dry, which makes irrigation precise and timely. Drone technology is still improving and more agriculture drones software are coming into the market for analyzing and correcting crop production. However, the cost is too much for farmers and flight time and range stills need to be improved.
For more details read our article on Agriculture Drones and their Applications.
Drones are used to keep an eye on the people and to detect any criminal or suspicious activity. Drones could provide the bird’s view of any location and high caliber sensors could detect and even recognize people, many police departments are using drones for surveillance. In old times, security cameras were used for live feed but the problem with these cameras is that they are limited and could easily be dodged but that’s not the case with these drones.
Researchers have developed an algorithm that allows drones to identify violent attacks and dubious behavior from the sky as it happens, these drones will be soon launched in the market.
For now, drones are used in Law Enforcement, Land Surveying, Wildlife Observation, Cinematography, Calamity Rescues, Hunting and for Search and Rescue Missions. Thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, these drones could be used by private entities for the surveillance of large events, festivals, concerts, and sports.
Delivery Drones is not science fiction anymore, recently Alibaba’s online meal giant Ele . me has been cleared to use drones for delivering orders in Shanghai Jinshan Industrial Park.
Think about getting a Pizza Delivery from a drone, isn’t it cool. You could pay online and a drone will drop a package on your doorstep. This will take less time as there isn’t much traffic in the air, for now at least, and on the other hand, it’s a big step towards pollution reduction.
Drones could be used for the delivery of medicines, vaccines, and blood to the areas that lack infrastructure. In October 2016, a Sans Francisco based company Zipline delivered medical supplies in Rwanda through drones.
These drones could deliver a weight of 1.8 Kilograms and cover up to 80 Kilometers. In 2018, Zipline would be the world’s largest delivery drones service in Tanzania that would make up to 2000 deliveries of medical supplies per day and be serving medical aid to more than 10 million people.
Amazon has started a project called Amazon Prime Air that will be used to deliver packages to customers through drones. These drones could carry the weight of 5 pounds and will deliver in under 30 minutes.
Drone Surveying as compared to Traditional Surveying is cheaper and much easier, and the best part is that the data gathered from drones is considered to be more accurate as compared to old techniques. https://www.youtube.com/embed/q3wXggCqY_8
Drones are perfect for 3D Mapping, land surveying, and site scan. Drone Photogrammetry makes it possible to model an area in 3D, create plans and make measurements. Surveying Drones are mostly used in Agriculture, Construction Sites, Mining, 3D Mapping, and Urban Planning.
Search And Rescue:
Who thought of saving lives with these flying machines called drones, people are afraid of things they can’t understand or control. Finally, drones are used by Search and Rescue teams to rescue people and save lives. Drones are more efficient in locating people in areas ravaged by flood, fire, earthquake or any natural disaster.
Advance thermal sensors and aerial view make it possible to find people that are lost or trapped in any climatic disaster. Drones use AI to detect any distress human being and send signals to Aerial Support for Search and Rescue.
Recently, Colorado Search and Rescue Teams announced to use drones to find people who are trapped, injured or sick in the Forest.
Drones are playing a big role in search and rescue missions. In Norfolk, a 75 years old man who got stuck in the marshes was founded by a drone and later he was rescued by Norfolk’s Police.
Media And Entertainment:
Drones are used for media coverage and cinematography for a very long time. Before drones, helicopters were used to cover news which could only be afforded by large-scale News Channels. As compare to drones, the helicopters were much expensive and fuel consuming.
Now, every news channel could fly a drone and provide real-time coverage of any event or incident. Another advantage of the drone is that you could fly it anywhere, it’s easy to control and could easily be handled in close areas.
Drones are widely used in the film industry to capture dramatic panoramas, action sequence or bird’s eye perspective of an area. Drones are transforming the TV Production, many nature series are captured by drones. For instance, a British television series Planet Earth II was created mostly by using drone technologies
Many producers are using drones for filming, however, FAA has authorized the use of drones in the only closed set.
Drones in Real Estate Business:
Real estate professionals love to make a beautiful video tour of their property for their customers. Drones make it easy to capture the video of large properties and house exteriors.
FAA has authorized the Real Estate agents to use drones for videography. Good thing is that you don’t need a pilot’s license to fly a drone for commercial purposes such as real estate.
For real estate, you’ll need a drone with a good camera, long flight time and advance flight modes for QuickShots such as Asteroid and Boomerang. Most of the agents use DJI Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Inspire and Typhoon H for real estate.