Future Drone Technology and Applications

What's Next for Drone Deliveries?

February 06, 2017

 

Drone

 

The first modern unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, were created for the military for reconnaissance. They could also be used to provide attack and supply capability for high-risk missions or fly decoy missions to get the opposing force to waste expensive anti-aircraft missiles.

 

Predator Drone

 

With the arrival of quadcopters, cameras and artificial intelligence software, drones became less likely to crash which made them more appealing to industry and consumers.

 

Quadcopter Drone

 

Today’s drones are more versatile. They can also travel along the ground, stick to the side of a building, and dive under water. Some can even take off vertically like a helicopter and then fly like a plane for speed and maneuverability.

 

 

How are drones being used today?

 

  • Real estate photography
  • Architecture and construction
  • Film Industry
  • Recreation
  • Sport - drone racing
  • Marketing drones like seen in Superbowl 51

 

 

What are the pros and cons of drones?

 

Pros

  • It can provide unprecedented views
  • Easy to fly – does not require lengthy training
  • Can go in areas unsafe for humans
  • Can go in areas inaccessible to humans
  • Can be used in swarms to cover wide areas
  • Can provide emergency supplies to remote areas

 

 

 

 

Cons

  • They are noisy
  • They can be intrusive
  • Short battery life/flight time
  • They can crash from mechanical failure, operator error, a dead battery or lost signal--and cause damage or injury.
  • Can interfere with birds, passenger jets and emergency aircraft
  • Difficult to regulate due to many shapes and sizes

 

 

 

How might drones be used in the future?

 

  • Delivery of retail products, food, medical/emergency needs, especially in remote areas
  • Agricultural – herder drones, insect and bird detering drones, soil analysis
  • Forest fire monitoring
  • Drones to watch over protected species/areas
  • Civil incident monitoring – A drone could be sent up by first responders to access the situation.
  • Provide internet in remote areas
  • Monitor air quality
  • Replace helicopter for news, inspecting pipeline and roads, law enforcement

 

 

 

Not so fast

 

As commercial and consumer drones become less expensive and more reliable, they will be used in many applications that have not even been thought of yet. But, keep your feet on the ground. Drone pizza delivery might make sense in New Zealand, where the distances can make any delivery guy look like Frodo on a fiery mountain. Whereas, drone-delivered slices in a trendy Manhattan restaurant are a gimmick, not a better solution.

 

 

 

Cleared for landing

 

Governments guard their air space dutifully, for obvious military and safety reasons. In many countries, regulations for a variety of drones have already in place. In the United States, all drones over .55 pounds must registered with the FAA.

 

Whether or not commercial and consumer drones will be accepted for use in public areas is still up in the air. The two biggest obstacles are the noise and the camera. Another problem is that they can be knocked out of the air with an accurately thrown walnut.

 

Will drones have a place in the future? The chances are good--in niche applications that keep them away from water hoses and angry old men.

 

 

Resources

 

Unmanned aerial vehicle - Wikipedia

 

Micro air vehicle - Wikipedia

 

Do I Need to Register My Drone? Check This List - Wired

 

The Future of Drones: Uncertain, Promising and Pretty Awesome - Live Science

 

IN PICTURES: 15 current and future uses for drones - Computer World

 

The future of drones - National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

 

How Can Drones Make Less Noise? - Quadcopter Cloud

 

7 Cool Commercial Drone Uses Coming to a Sky Near You - Business News Daily

 

The Future of Drones - Rotor Drone Magazine

 

Drones and Robots: Revolutionizing Farms of the Future - Geospatial Media and Communications

 

Lady Gaga’s Halftime Show Drones Have a Bright Future - Wired

 

A look at the future world of drones - Daily Mail

 

These Drones Have A Flair For Flares - GE

 

Four Reasons Why Drones, Not Driverless Cars, Are The Future Of Autonomous Navigation - Forbes

 

192 Future Uses for Flying Drones - Futurist Speaker

 

How Did Drones Get Their Name? - Quadcopter Cloud

 

Why Talk To Drones Over Radio When You Can Use Lasers? - Popular Mechanics

 

Drones are the future for deliveries - EFTM

 

Government initiative gives Google the go-ahead to test delivery drones in the US - New Atlas

 

Amazon has bold and bright ideas for delivery rest stops for drones - TechXplore

 

A drone that flies (almost) like a bird - EPFL

 

Watch Air Swirl Around a Quadcopter Drone’s Rotors - Wired

 

Droneboarding takes off in Latvia - Phys.org

 

NOVAerial's helicopter drones: Better than multicopters? - New Atlas

 

This medicine-toting drone flew where no one thought it could - CNET

 

Top 5 Drone Fails - Youtube (2:05)

 

Top 5 HUMAN TRANSPORT Drones - Youtube (12:06)

 

6 Awesome Drones for 2017 - Youtube (3:26)

 

Worst drones at CES 2017 - Youtube (3:49)

 

5 Most Unique Drones Available Now - Youtube (11:58)

 

5 Most Unique Drones Available Now - Youtube (11:58)

 

Racing drones at 100 MPH in the Las Vegas Drone Rodeo - Youtube (3:38)

 

Go Inside the World's First $1 Million Drone Race - Youtube (6:16)

 

The astounding athletic power of quadcopters | Raffaello D'Andrea TED - Youtube (16:08)

 

Hands-On with DJI Mavic Foldable Quadcopter Drone! - Youtube (13:48)

 

Amazon Prime Air - Youtube (2:16)

 

Making deliveries with the DHL Parcelcopter 3.0 - Youtube (1:54)

 

10 NEW DRONE Inventions You Must See - Youtube (10:33)

 

UPS Testing Delivery by Drone - Youtube (1:48)

 

Agricultural drone - Youtube (3:44)

 

This Drone Startup Is Beating Amazon at Deliveries - Youtube (3:27)

 

WORLD'S FIRST Autonomous Hybrid UUV/UAV Drone - Youtube (1:29)

 

Freedom Class Giant Drone - Initial Flight Test - January 2017 - Youtube (1:31)

 

Flying dog drone Youtube (2:21)

 

 

line

 

Image credits

 

Image by tpsdave from Pixabay

Image from Pixabay

Predator drone via Wikimedia Commons

Radio-controlled drone via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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