“A 13-inch Margherita pizza was dropped off on a 21st floor rooftop to a customer in Mumbai. ”
Headlines like these make drones a very fascinating and exciting subject. Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles and are usually GPS-controlled. You fly them up in the air and capture photos, do pizza deliveries or deliver an important parcel to your friend. If you’re curious about how drones work and what it is, here’s the lowdown.
Pilots refer to drones as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Although these terms are used interchangeably, they mean the same thing. For simplicity’s sake, let’s use drones. Drones use a mix of remote controllers, GPS technology, smart collision systems and are made from high-quality composites that withstand air vibrations and reduce noise levels – making flights smooth, lightweight, and stable. Drones are unmanned and do not require a human to operate in-person like aircraft, being controlled from remote locations.
Most drones are powered by a lithium polymer battery. In photography, professionals and amateurs are taking them to the sky and achieving shots of vantage points which once seemed impossible. In today’s market, you have two options – drones that bundle a camera, and drones that do not.
Professional photographers use the gimbals (a 3-axis type) to mount camera models and fly them away. Higher-end drone models feature a dedicated remote controller while budget models function just as well by installing Drone Apps on a Smartphone for use and navigation. Larger drones are used in the military while the smaller quadcopters are used for navigating around geographic locations and for personal or commercial purposes.
Every country has its own set of rules and regulations in regard to using drones the but the consensus is that you have to first get yours registered before letting it loose in public.
The DJI Phantom 3 is a perfect example of the advancements witnessed in today’s drone technology. Let’s look at a few everyday uses of drones these days:
- Real-Estate Industry –
Collecting aerial imagery of properties and geographic locations are common uses of drones in the real estate market, including using drones for carrying property inspections.
- Remote Sensing –
Remote sensing is an area where drones use different types of sensors to collect and provide data for geographical surveying, archaeology, agricultural states, recording air-quality, and much more.
- Disaster Relief –
Floods, earthquakes and natural disasters wreak havoc. Drones deliver medical supplies, food, and livelihood samples remotely to areas unreachable by humans.
The future of drones is already here. With advancements in Artificial Intelligence and the Internet-Of-Things, modern drones are slowly being enabled to operate without the aid of humans and acting on their own record. The drone market is estimated to be valued at $100 billion by 2020 and some expected technology advancements in the near future are solar-powered battery options, fused modelling techniques, and advanced manufacturing processes which create stronger and more durable builds. AI and Big Data are uncharted territories and some fear a robotic apocalypse awaits.
In the meantime, let’s be happy that drones are being used to automate crime detection, weather monitoring, and being deployed for other productive uses instead of being turned into robotic assassins without a leash.