From advancements in AI and automation to impressive CGI and endlessly evolving user interfaces, the modern technological world is a wonder to behold. One of the most exciting advancements in this increasingly-automated new landscape comes in the form of drones. While these flying beauties have had a bit of a struggle to enter common use, largely due to their requirement to use air space, there can be no doubt that they are slowly being accepted around the world.
This is a natural consequence that was bound to happen as drones have become more and more sophisticated, sporting an increasingly impressive arsenal of capabilities that can be used for a myriad of different, more positive purposes than simply being used for military air strikes. Here are some of the best applications for drones that have been experimented with or have even become commonplace at this point.
There’s a big difference between aerial photography and drone photography. While pricey pictures have been snapped from planes for years now, drones have been bringing a much more eloquent evolution to the aerial photography scene. Their ability to take overhead as well as angled shots of a location or event has allowed them to provide a dramatic upgrade in both the affordability and the quality of vertical photography.
One of the areas that this has impacted the most is in the field of real estate. From commercial to residential properties, drones have allowed potential buyers and investors to carefully scrutinize not just the interior of a structure, but its exterior as well.
While drones have been busy positively upending the world of aerial photography, this has naturally brought with it the ability to record videos from the air as well. Drones have allowed videographers to take to the skies, recording events or even transmitting live videos.
This can be seen once again in the world of real estate where taking a “virtual tour” of a property has begun to give potential buyers more than just exterior pictures of a house that’s for sale. It also provides an overview snapshot of the surrounding area, giving them a feel for the location and setting in which the house is based. The dramatically lowered cost of drones has made this capability accessible to many other professionals outside of the real estate market as well, allowing everything from pro sports to wedding videos to take on a whole new level of sophistication.
3. Delivery Services
One of the most iconic uses of drones is in the form of delivery services. Companies like Amazon and Google have been attempting to develop their drone technology for years now, with the end goal being a system that could completely overhaul the concept of how they deliver goods directly to their customers. However, the concept of a drone dropping off a box of goodies at your house an hour after you ordered it is a bit more complex than it may look on the surface.
For one thing, it requires a great deal more finesse for a droid to successfully navigate, say, a big city with buildings and planes—not to mention virtually no ground space—in order to reach a location without crashing or causing damage along the way. In addition to this, the air is a heavily regulated space and one in which drones are still trying to find their place. As previously alluded to, the numerous benefits of drones virtually guarantee their eventual integration into the existing air traffic controlling system. However, the current regulations continue to remain a bit of a “hoop jumping” scenario for the time being.
Once said regulations are sorted out, though, the potential for drones to take up a primary role in our numerous delivery systems will likely be revolutionary.
4. Gathering Data
While drones are still waiting for the green light to fully jump into the delivery game, they are already making a big impact on the front end of the supply chain management system. The radical flying devices are already being busily employed with tasks like gathering data for mining and land surveying, as well as a variety of uses within the agricultural world, including monitoring plant health, testing soil, map cropping, and so on.
5. Scientific Research
Another area where drones are set to stir up some buzz is in the field of scientific research. It should come as no surprise that drones are the perfect way for scientists to have remote “eyes and ears” as they collect data around the world and beyond. Not only do drones allow them to observe hard to reach places, but they can do so with minimal disruption, which is often a key factor in proper research techniques.
This technology is being experimented with in multiple ways. One of the most interesting of these is the planned use of tiny insect-sized drones to help explore the neighboring planet Mars. The classically mysterious red planet could have swarms of drone bees unveiling its mysteries as they scour its surface in the not-too-distant future, gathering samples and reporting data on their findings as they go.
6. Eco-Friendly Work
While plans for future galactic explorations are about as exciting as it can get, there are still many other ways that drones are already having an impact in the here and now. One of these is by literally helping to save the whales. Drones have been actively incorporated into efforts to save whales that have gotten caught in fishing nets. While this work was already being done by humans, the addition of drones to the task force has had a dramatic effect in speeding up the process as well as lowering the costs and difficulties involved.
7. Cell Service
Yet another way that drones are helping outside of the private sector is through the useful application of providing cell service. Companies like AT&T and Verizon have equipped drones with the ability to become mobile cell towers, bringing cell service to disaster areas where service has been lost. Often natural disasters like hurricanes can knock cellular services out of commission for days and weeks at a time. Not only that, but this typically occurs during a time when a working phone can be particularly critical to people’s well-being. The use of these drones has been an instrumental factor in keeping communications up and running during natural disaster crises.
Drones: A Positive Impact for the Future
While drones have been a concept in the collective conscious for decades at this point, it’s taken a while for the useful application of drones themselves to catch up with their quickly increasing capabilities. As the dawn of the drone era continues to unfold, however, we are seeing more and more uses for these innovative flying machines. From delivering packages and providing cell service to selling real estate, saving whales, and more, drones are quickly proving that they deserve a prestigious position in the modern, technologically-savvy world that we live in.