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A Brief Overview of Drones

Posted by nik on April 20, 2016

Back in the day, the idea of drones seemed futuristic, from another world, and maybe a little scary. Now, it’s 2016 and drones are not only being used to take fun photos from the sky and assist our military, but they’re also the hottest toy on the market for kids young and old, and even being considered to expedite package delivery. Prices range anywhere from under a hundred dollars to thousands upon thousands of dollars, and they come in sizes everywhere from fitting into the palm of your hand to bigger than the average human being. Here’s some of the different ways drones are being used right now:

Amazon Prime Air

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Photo Credit: Amazon

Amazon Prime Air is coming to a city near you soon, and it may just be the fastest delivery system you’ve ever seen. Amazon claims that they’re working out a system to get drones to deliver Amazon orders anywhere in the world within 30 minutes or less. At one point or another, we’ve all stressed over that gift we forgot to order on time—but with Amazon’s drone delivery service, you won’t have to worry any longer. Simply order the gift a couple hours before the party, and you’ll have it just in time.

Now the big question everyone has been asking is: when is Amazon Prime Air going to be available? Well, unfortunately that hasn’t yet been disclosed, but we keep hearing “soon.” While that doesn’t seem like a whole lot of hope, we’re hoping on this being launched sooner, rather than later.

Military Drones

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Photo Credit: Flickr

The military has been utilizing drones for quite some time now, and they truly are the best option for scoping out uncertain territory and fitting into places where people could be easily spotted, further protecting troops from unnecessary danger.

Of course, this is just one of the ways the military uses drones. There are also naval drones which are made for the water. One of those is the Seafox, which searches for and snuffs out underwater mines.

Photography Drones

Have you ever seen a photo taken from the sky? Most likely, it was taken with a drone. There are even services that will even notify your business when they’ll have a drone flying over your area, in case you’d be interested in an aerial photo. These kinds of drones are also used for cinematics—getting amazing shots for your favorite popular movies or even short films.

There are also drones specifically designed for the GoPro, and we all have that friend who takes their GoPro everywhere with them. Well, now they can even send them up for a bird’s eye view and some great footage.

“For fun” Drones

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One of the most popular uses for drones may just be for fun. Kids and adults can’t seem to get enough of flying drones across water, cities, fields, and even parking lots. Drones seem to mesmerize everyone around them. It can pretty much be guaranteed that if you’re at the park flying a drone, you won’t be without company for long. While drones are great for fast delivery, the military, and photography, nothing beats just having fun with them.

Where Are Drones Headed?

The future of drones is an endless future. Before we know it, drones could infiltrate delivery systems and military all over the world, even more-so than now. But it won’t stop there—we’ll be able to fly human-sized drones anywhere we need to. If you thought hovercrafts were a thing of the Jetsons or Back to the Future, think again.

Another thing to think about is the capacity drones have to replace jobs. Thousands of drivers are employed across UPS, FedEx, USPS, and other carriers. Will the future of drones be the end of those jobs, or will they create additional positions? There’s no telling at this point, and that’s because drones also have quite a bit of hurdles ahead of them. The FAA and other agencies aren’t sure how to handle the drone problem, and there’s actually a lot of red tape in the way for drone technology to even advance at a fast pace.

As far as private ownership goes, those who own a drone are required to register it with the FAA, largely because the government wants to keep a closer eye on private drones. You can read an interesting article on that here, as it really goes in-depth telling you what this “registration” is all about.

That’s just a small look at the hurdles there are with drones. There’s a lot more red tape with it out there, especially for those who want to use them commercially (e.g. Amazon). There are a lot of regulation problems that will all have to be addressed, and it will ultimately determine how private drone technology will advance and proceed in the future.

Photo Credit: MarketWatch

If we get past the hurdles with the FAA, drones could be useful in many other applications, such as agriculture. There are a lot of downsides to people working on farms, with many complaints largely being around low income, the lack of reliability on weather and different seasons, and so on. That said, in 10 or so years, drones could potentially be the primary workhorse on fields. Much of this technology is still deep in development, but one company, FLIR–a thermal imaging camera company–launched a camera for drones that will give farmers helpful data, such as where they need to increase pesticides and watering or even if a crop is ready for harvest.

There’s a lot of potential in the agricultural field, as well as many other fields. Unfortunately, drone technology is just too new to be widely applied just yet, but that will undoubtedly change.

Conclusion

Although drones have taken the world by storm, we haven’t seen anything yet. With the future in sight, the opportunities are endless. But until then, drones make the perfect gift for friends and family, and it’s the best pastime when you’ve got a few minutes to kill on a summer evening outdoors.

Do you have any ideas on how drones could be further utilized in the world? We’d love to hear what you have to say in the comment section!

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