Guest Post by Shane Haumpton
Technology has been evolving at an accelerated rate. This has birthed a long list of inventions and advancements, and among them are commercial drones. After drones were made available to the masses, people have found multiple uses for the buzzing sky-racer.
From aerial photography and videography to drone racing and site inspection, these miniature flying machines have been proliferating in different fields, providing new approaches to traditional practices. In this article, we’ll be talking about 10 amazing things that your drone can do for you, whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist.
1. Aerial Photography/videography
Drone photography and videography are the most common uses of drones these days. Professionals are no longer bound to the ground resulting in more creative shots and inspiring compositions.
Pre-nuptial shoots, sporting events, local festivals, and a host of other scenarios open up once you get your hand on a drone. Keep in mind, however, that you need to master the drone before you even think of using it professionally. And always be mindful of the law surrounding this practice.
Drones are increasingly gaining more popularity in the agricultural sector thanks to the efficiency it offers. There are several things that drones can accomplish for farmers. Scouting crops and land areas are among the most common. Farmers no longer need to do manual checking of their massive land area, which would take time and resources.
Nowadays, they can simply fire up a drone to inspect a specific location and acquire the necessary data needed for a particular task. Drones are even used for seed planting where farmers shoot seed pods in prepared soil, although the practice has yet to gain significant traction due to early adoption.
3. Drone Racing
Drone racing is an emerging sport where teams compete to prove who’s the best pilot in a particular course. Millions of dollars have been poured into this nascent industry, with teams coming in from various corners of the globe.
Almost all races are done through a dazzling, albeit dizzying, first-person view. Depending on the competition, drone racing can be done indoors or outdoors, both of which offer unique challenges of their own.
If you’re interested in becoming a professional drone racing pilot, you need to have cat-like reflexes, an extremely calm demeanor, and a thirst for speed. Also, the drones used in races are different than those used by photographers as the latter is significantly slower than their zipping relatives.
4. Site Inspection
In the same vein that farmers can monitor their land area, drones can also be used to inspect sites, particularly dangerous ones where manual monitoring can be near impossible. Whether it’s the terrain or a chemical hazard, drones eliminate the need for crew members to risk their necks to gather data from a certain location.
Also, drones that are used for site inspection are different from the ones used for racing and photography. So if you’re planning to use drones for this particular task, you’ll need those that are octocopters or hexacopters as they’re more stable and can keep flying even if one of the rotors is damaged.
5. 3D Mapping
Drones are now being used to create 3D mapping of statues and buildings through a process called photogrammetry. Although this area is still in its infancy phase, it’s growing at an exponential rate thanks to the efficiency and affordability of drone technology.
To create maps, a camera is mounted on the drone vertically and is pointed toward the ground. For monuments and skyscrapers, the camera is mounted horizontally. Multiple photos are then taken by the drone that is moving through a programmed flight path known as a waypoint. As a result of this application, professionals can plan and measure projects more accurately, reducing costs and increasing productivity.
6. Action Drone
People in the sports action scene are using drones to capture incredible footage in the air. Snowboarding, kayaking, off-roading, and surfing are just some of the many examples out there.
Thanks to the sophisticated drone software, action sports enthusiasts can command the aerial vehicle to follow them around without the need for controls. This opens up massive possibilities for creative videos and compositions while giving the athlete free rein to perform their respective practices.
Businesses have also taken advantage of a drone’s flight capabilities by attaching flyers on them. These are then sent to high-traffic areas in an attempt to sell a product or a service.
For instance, restaurants in cities will attach their menu on a drone and fly them out to attract more customers. In event gatherings, drones are used to hold banners of companies to emphasize presence and involvement.
8. Parcel Delivery
Companies, big and small, are now using drones to deliver online orders. Parcels, pizzas, medicine – basically anything that a drone can carry has the potential to be delivered through this channel.
Retail and technological juggernauts have already poured millions in research and development about this application, with Google, Amazon, Walmart, and UPS leading the charge. Again, this is still in its early stages but results are already promising enough that Amazon has launched trials to gather more data and improve services.
9. Disaster Response
Drones are proving to be quite the tool to alleviate the damages done by natural disasters. Governments and private humanitarian aids can use drones to deliver food and medicine to areas that are inaccessible due to flooding or other road obstructions.
It can even help prevent disasters altogether. For instance, drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras can be deployed to identify areas that are prone to forest fires. Abnormal temperatures in certain locations can alert teams to take proactive measures and struck down a forest fire before it can even spark.
Professionals operating in wildlife and environmental conservation are now using drones as research companions. One prime example of this application is using aerial photography to monitor nesting grounds of animals without disturbing their habitat.
Researchers can collect data and monitor animal behavior more accurately than ever. They can take photos of heritage sites or gather information on dangerous locations like the disaster site in Chernobyl. In crimes related to this field, professionals are using drones to apprehend poachers with increasing efficiency.
Drones have long held a negative reputation for their use in warfare, but these varied and useful applications have altered this perception. Commercial drones are now being used in a wide range of industries fulfilling a wide range of uses.