10 of the most interesting uses of commercial drones to date

When you look up into the night sky you are used to seeing a collection of stars and satellites sending their light down to earth. Now imagine in less than a year, a sky full of drones, closer to the earth, more manageable than satellites and that send and receive data at a faster rate. This could be the very near future as drones start emerging into the consumer market. When you think of drones, military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) or remote controlled helicopters may come to mind. However, drones are evolving like the rest of the world and there are a lot of different ways they will be involved in our everyday lives very soon.

1. Data Collection

Satellites have been collecting information on people and the earth for years. The scope of their abilities is amazing; just look at Google Street View and you’ll get a taste for how much information is being collected. That is just the tip of the iceberg with the emerging drone market. Since drones are on the earth they have the advantage of data collection within our atmosphere and easy maneuverability that can be sent on a route anywhere in the world to specifically collect data; from people to weather conditions.

2. Package Delivery

One of the most exciting new consumer conveniences will be the application of drones into businesses. Companies like Amazon will be using drones as a delivery system to ensure a faster delivery rate. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued over a thousand permits to businesses seeking to use drones as a delivery system. Drones are about to change the way we think of online shopping.

3. Insurance

Imagine your insurance claims being assessed by a drone rather than a human being. This is the future of the insurance industry. From car crash to catastrophe, drones will be sent out to take inventory of the damages for the insured. It has the potential to be faster and more efficient than ever before.

4. Photography

The social media craze has created a world obsessed with documenting their lives. But who could blame us when we’re all just contributing our little piece of history? Now drones can help us all by documenting our adventures from an aerial view. Imagine all the amazing photos and videos we will get as well as all of the silly ones that we might keep for a good laugh every once in a while. It will change the professional world as well in both photography and film, making it easier to get shots that would have been impossible without a helicopter. We will be seeing the world from a whole new perspective very soon.

5. Internet

Facebook’s plan to bring internet to developing countries through drones is slowly underway. Its solar powered drone is built but not quite ready for application. They will have the capability of supplying a 50 mile radius with internet service. They will also be able to communicate with one another through laser technology. This internet solution may be a revolutionary step or it could possibly be trying to solve a problem that satellites have the ability to remedy. Either way, it is amazing to think that in the near future we will be connecting the world through these devices in the sky.

6. Agriculture

Monitoring thousands of acres of crops is a laborious task for most farmers but drones have the capabilities to do it for them. Considering how much I like food I consider this one of the greatest applications for drones. Farmers can send up drones with cameras to make sure their animals and crops are growing properly, as well as use them to spray insecticides on the crops. It’s a setting with great potential for drones.

7. Wildlife Conservation

Tracking wildlife is important when it comes to learning about animals and being able to protect species from going extinct. Drones are helpful in tagging animals in order to track them. They make tracking much easier and able to get closer views. Since they virtually make no noise, they are able to get in closer to animals than usual without scaring them off. However, people should take into consideration that it is a foreign object invading a wild animal’s habitat and although they may not run away from drones, they could be afraid. Still it offers us a technique that doesn’t harm the animal and allows us to gain a greater understanding.

8. Law Enforcement

Commercial drone laws are guidelines at best at this point. This is a pivotal time for the kind of laws that will be written in the coming months and years. A fantastic application for drones will be for the men and women who enforce those laws. Police have been using drones in small doses for a few years but recently North Dakota has passed the use of drones with “less than lethal weapons” such as tear gas and tasers. I would hate to run into one of these on the street but it’s a noble application for the drone industry.

9. News

First class footage of world events. That is process of news reporters when drones are involved. Getting in close to all the hard-hitting, press-worthy moments that we all can’t wait to hear about is easier than ever. When news stations use drones to gather information we have more visuals without having to send people into dangerous situations. Drones don’t take away the jobs of news reporters, just make it easier for them to collect relevant information. However, in the hands of paparazzi they can become a nuisance.

10. Search and Rescue

Drones are often used in search and rescue operations. This is yet another application where drones can do the dirty work and enter dangerous situations to help out humanity. They can scout large areas in a short time, locate and help people. In situations where every second counts, drones are crucial in helping to save lives.

The many uses of drones are expanding every day and are helping people more often than not. It will be interesting to see what applications people come up with, especially in the emerging commercial market. How will you use your drone?



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