Mind bogglingly futuristic, both Amazon and Domino’s have announced their plans to use drones as a form of delivery service. Though not available just yet, Amazon have already dubbed the service ‘Prime Air’ and have promised we will soon be finding our lighter items delivered in under 30 minutes by the flying devices. They promise that delivery drones will soon be as common a site as the mail trucks. I for one, am behind the idea of flying pizza!
Farming and the tech industry can at times seem worlds apart, however, drones are apparently where they find their common ground. They can be used in a ‘hands on’ sense to distribute fertilisers or insecticides with far more accuracy and precisely than by tractors – cutting wastage by up to 20%.
Additionally, they also come in very handy in their capacity as surveyors allowing farmers to track any crop damage or disease, the movements/ health of livestock and the levels of nitrogen in the air.
Drones have come a long way from their first use as military weapons, now arguably one of their greatest contributions to the modern world could be as an agent for environmental conservation. This has manifested itself in a number of ways..
For one, they provide a non-invasive way for biologists to monitor endangered or undiscovered species in both the plant and animal world. So often the most remarkable creatures exist in the most hostile terrains so drones have the added bonus of enabling conservationists to view their habits without having to spend the time accessing the location by foot.
Another vital use for drones, is their ability to protect endangered sea and land creatures from poaching. At sea, their ability to cover vast areas and fly low is key here. On land, most poaching takes place at night, so drones installed with thermal imaging technology can be revolutionary in detecting poachers rapidly.
Though controversial (the public is uneasy about the use of drones for surveillance), there are certainly some police uses for drones that few people would object to.
They can be invaluable as instruments for recording footage from traffic accidents and crime scenes as they unfold which can be used for evidence later in court.
More, unusually but nonetheless key, drones have also proven themselves to be very useful in hostage situations. Like with poaching, the thermal imagery technology allows the police to see just how many people might be involved in an incident.
Drones have proven their worth many times over in the case of emergency aid – especially natural disasters when conditions can make it difficult for human aid to reach people quickly.
Last year, drones in America were out in force as Hurricane Irma struck. They performed high speed search and rescue, identified people in desperate circumstances, delivered life-jackets and medical supplies to areas that humans could not access. In other areas they have been used to monitor and even tackle forest fires and deliver supplies to remote settlements.
In the wake of disaster, a drone’s 3D mapping ability can be extremely helpful in the reconstruction of an area.
Maintenance and Construction Drones
Several different industries have embraced the use of drones for essential maintenance and engineering work. Inevitable, these businesses are often based in inaccessible places. Industrial sites like oil rigs and skyscrapers can be safely monitored with a drone, saving time so that targeted repairs can be performed.
The same is true of industries that cover large areas, in yet another contribution to the environment, drones have been used to monitor the condition of solar panels and water pipes that cross deserts.
Journalists were amongst the first to appreciate the true usefulness of the drone – finally a tool that allowed them to spy on celebrities! But seriously, being able to record events as they unfold transforms journalism from a form of reporting to an almost interactive experience. In terms, of global connectivity this is massive but also incredibly valuable to history as well.
Bonus use: Entertainment Drones
Aside from their work saving lives, the environment and upholding the law, drones can be used for a bit of simple fun too. Professionals in the US have recently pioneered drone light shows (fully choreographed) that could feasibly replace fireworks as a quieter and safer, though equally beautiful alternative.
Alongside, this there is also work being done on drones designed to suspend projector screens and projectors themselves so that sky can become a cinema where and when it suits people – neat.
Flora Dallas is a content writer for Fat Lama the world’s fasted growing peer-to-peer rental platform, specialising in drone and camera hire. The platform aims to provide a more cost effective solution to buying items outright, giving users the potential to ‘try before they buy’ and lenders the chance to monetise their unused possessions fully insured.