30 Aug 6 Incredible Ways Drones Are Changing Our World
When imagination reaches and makes cosmic connections, what starts as a germ of an idea can make its way through fantasy or fiction to the military, and eventually to the masses. Civilian drones are the latest example of this. One of my first thoughts upon learning of drones was, “Where would Da Vinci be in the development of this trend today?” After all, his sketches of the “airscrew” device nearly five hundred years ago paved the groundwork for the modern day helicopter, propelled airborne by 1940. Perhaps he would have been a pioneer in photography as well, which has found such a fit in the drone of today. Evidently I was not alone in this thought, since at least one company and one competition bear his name, both regarding drones.
Now that the military has had this technology to themselves for quite some time, it has been trickled or slipped, like so many other advancements, to the civilian sector. In the hands of the military, drones, or Unnamed or Remotely Piloted Vehicles or Systems (UAV or RPAS) are called in on missions that present too high a risk or difficulty level for piloted craft. The application of drones here are that of surveillance, military observation (or reconnaissance) and air strikes at home and abroad. Now that this technology has reached the private sector, drones’ usefulness has been exploited in far more ways.
While governmental legislation continues, including restrictions put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), drones have proven themselves invaluable in a number of different arenas, including:
Private companies like Amazon, with their Octocopter, are seeing the advantages with delivery even early on. It has led many to speculate a boom in the hundreds of millions with the general public.
Storm and traffic tracking:
Where the risk to pilot and craft proves too great, the Global Hawk comes into play, a collaborative effort of NASA, NOAA, and Northrop Grumman. This drone reports on temperature, humidity, pressure and location of tropical storms and hurricanes.
With the leaps made in digital photography paired with the drone craft’s ability to reach several hundreds of feet, filmmakers, surveyors and artists can document from vantage points not readily available before.
Farmers are able to spray and monitor crops and livestock by way of remote controlled devices.
Search and Rescue: Drones can locate and bring life-saving equipment to areas otherwise unreachable.
Soon drones might oust standard airplanes, undercutting the cost of pulling banners across the sky.
While regulation and technology still stand as obstacles, the drone’s ever-growing ability to meet a myriad of challenges seem to suggest that our skies could be filled with a new species much sooner than expected.