The drone controversy has been raging for years and will likely continue for many more, but recent proposals by the FAA regarding drone regulations have started to open up and clarify when and where drones can be used. And as technologies continue to advance in the fields of miniaturization, the use of drones becomes more and more appealing in a surprisingly wide range of industries.
Search & Rescue
Search and Rescue operations are one place that the use of drones is obvious. Not only can drones search more efficiently, they can cover more ground in less time. Companies like SAR Drones works in conjunction with S.W.A.R.M. (Search With Arial RC Multi-rotors) to help find missing people all over the world. The advantage of the drones is that once those people are found, Search and Rescue can use the drones to drop off items like food, water, two-way radios, and medical supplies.
Drones are now part of the construction industry, as commercial and residential roofing companies use the technology in several ways; a drone can help inspect large areas much quicker, which means that problem areas and possible defects can be identified and repaired faster, decreasing overall costs. A drone can also assist with measurements for roofing cost estimates, as well as laying out designs for customers.
Agents all over the country have been using drones as a tool for real estate marketing and advertising. Drones give agents the opportunity to get videos and pictures from various angles, giving clients and potential buyers a view of the entire house as well as the neighborhood. They can also do video tours of the house, using the drone to fly from room to room in an imitation of someone walking the property, ideal for people wanting to see a home but not able to visit it in person.
NASA has jumped on board with the drone craze, commissioning several drones for high altitude atmospheric tests to help scientists better understand our environment. The large drone flies 12 miles above the ground and can carry hundreds of sensors and equipment. Alternatively, several scientists in Florida have created tiny but durable drone sensors that are thrown into the path of oncoming tornadoes and hurricanes to help study the destructive storms in an attempt to better understand how they occur and how to better predict them.
Several police agencies across the country have started using specialized drones in place of helicopters in dangerous situations. These drones are equipped with incredibly powerful cameras containing night vision and heat sensors to help officers in dangerous confrontations such as when search for or diffusing bombs, resolving hostage situations, and chasing armed criminals.
Amazon and Google have both been playing with the idea of using drones to deliver products directly to customer’s homes with no need for delivery drivers. These sophisticated drones are equipped with highly accurate GPS devices to drop your packages off right at your front door and can operate 24 hours a day, leading to faster delivery and lowered costs for both the companies and the customers. Companies like Delivery Drone are looking to take it one step further, imagining countrywide transportation and delivery services for everything from holiday gifts to daily groceries.
It’s hard to say where the world will land on drone use and laws. Obviously regulations will be created and modified as time goes on, but the truth is drones are only growing in popularity as more and more people find unique and effective uses for these unmanned vehicles across all industries worldwide.