1. Delivery Drones
Amazon have announced their intention to launch ‘Amazon Prime Air Delivery’ where they will be able to deliver packages up to 5 lbs in under 30 minutes. Though this is still in the pipeline, it has potential to completely transform the way that we receive post – especially if you live on an island!
Amazon are not alone, Domino’s are also looking into this as the future of food delivery. Imagine a pizza literally flying to your door – bliss!
2. Agricultural Drones
Though it might seem like two different worlds colliding, drones and agriculture seem to be a match made in heaven. Drones can be used to apply fertilizers to crops in a far more efficient, accurate and environmentally friendly manner than tractors.
Whilst they also can be used to allow farmers to track the health of crops and livestock over large areas (think moorland sheep) and monitor nitrogen levels.
3. Conservation Drones
It looks like drones might just be qualified as the tech industry’s greatest contribution to the environment at the moment as they can be utilised in a number of ways:
Firstly, Conservationists can use them to monitor populations of endangered species (both animal and plant) in a non-invasive way. This is especially useful if the species is in a difficult to access or harsh terrain – after all it’s a lot easier to fly over the rainforest than walk through it!
Second, drones have become a valuable weapon in detecting poaching both at sea (illegal whale hunting) and on land. By using thermal imaging technology drones can be used identify big game poachers at night and enable security teams to go immediately to the exact location.
Third, they can be used to map out remote areas that have previously only been recorded through satellite images in much higher detail. Who knows what we could wonders we could discover?
4. Police Drones
There has been a certain hesitancy regarding the use of drones by the police from the general public, as it calls into question certain rights to privacy. However, there are some cases where they are undoubtedly very useful.
Namely, to monitor traffic incidents, obtain footage from a crime scene and especially in a hostage scenario when the thermal imaging technology can be used to identify the number of people involved.
5. Emergency Drones
Drones have been used by emergency services all across the world – especially in cases of natural disaster. In this instance, human access can be difficult even treacherous, which is exactly where the drones come in.
They can be used in several ways: to deliver medical supplies without putting further human life at risk, for search and rescue (as they fly a lot lower and a lot more cheaply than helicopters) and for putting out forest fires. As an emergency response measure, their ability to 3D map disaster zones is also invaluable for response and reconstruction teams.
6. Maintenance and Construction Drones
The potential of drones as a maintenance tool cannot really be underrated with major industries like construction, oil, mining, solar energy and water supply all using them for this purpose. Drones can quickly access areas that would be very hazardous and time consuming for humans to get to – they can view roof tiles on skyscrapers, underwater oil rigs and miles of desert water pipes in the drop of a hat!
7. Surf Rescue Drones
It looks like drones could be set to replace lifeguards as the very first drone sea rescue took place in Australia. According to Time a drone ‘Little Ripper’ was used to drop a floating device directly onto two exhausted teenage-swimmers off Australia’s north coast, allowing them to float back in much quicker than a manual rescue would have. It would not be unreasonable to suggest that drones would also be useful to the Australian coast guard for shark sightings too!
Bonus use: Entertainment Drones
Drones don’t have to spend all their time saving lives and the environment, there is also a big market for drones as entertainers. What do I mean by this I hear you ask? Thankfully, drones won’t be cracking jokes just yet, but they do have US crowds entranced by their light displays.
Experts are developing choreographed light shows that could provide an environmentally friendly, safe alternative to fireworks. There has also been talk of drones being used to hold up large projector screens so that outdoor cinemas can be put anywhere at any time – turns out the sky isn’t the limit after all!