What’s all this talk about drones lately?
It seems that drones have suddenly crept up on the radar and are hovering around the top spot of what’s trending in the news today.
This is definitely not your paper airplane…
So, what’s going on?
Well, drones have been around for years, and they are used for different purposes. However, these devices have become more popular in recent times and their application increases rapidly in various fields. But first of all, let’s answer the main question: “what is a drone and how we can define it”.
The word “drone” has several different meanings and its origin is from the old English word drān, drǣn, which means male bee. When talking about a drone as an electric device, we think of a missile or a remote-controlled pilot-less aircraft.
One of the most used definitions for drone is: “An unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond the line of sight”. Another frequently used definition is: “Drone is any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely.”
The following is a short list of specific areas where drones have a direct impact:
- Assisting with tornado warnings. Researchers in Oklahoma are working with drones to measure the lower atmosphere so they can produce earlier warnings before severe weather strikes. The Oklahoma Researchers are expecting weather drones to help forecasters predict patterns more precisely allowing tornado warnings to be given anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes earlier. In the future, small unmanned aircraft will be widely used to measure the lower atmosphere giving better weather predictions and earlier warnings.
- Drones assist Fire Departments. Drone assisting firefighting crews will save lives, time and money. They are being used presently, along with research, for underground fires, building and house fires, surveying a hazardous material accident, and assisting fire crews after storms.
- Drones Seek Out Ancient Ruins. A top quality drone can capture pictures and video from a constant altitude. This allows for the production of a photographic map of the entire dig site including measuring distances and angles between objects. Using software, operations such as computing areas and lengths along curves can be calculated without resorting to complicated surveying methods. The images obtained can also be used to create a stereoscopic projection, allowing viewers to see more detail and perceive depth directly. Drones have already been used to reveal a 1,000 year old village in New Mexico.
- Drones in Conservation. One of the areas where drones are already making a big impact is in wildlife conservation. Some of our most beautiful animals are at a serious risk of extinction from poachers. Rhinos, Elephants, Tigers and Orangutan are commonly shot and shipped illegally for their tusks, skins and other body parts.
- Parcel/Medicine Delivery Service. This area is constantly in the news. We’ve seen drones being used to deliver pizza and Amazon are always releasing information about their Prime Air Delivery Project. There are also many big Postal companies across Europe and Asia which are trialing drone parcel deliveries. In the US, Wal-Mart are also testing drone deliveries.
Just a few years back, you would never have heard the term “drone” with a very positive connotation. Whenever there was any talk of drones, you thought of wars, attacks on terrorists, and spying of certain areas using pilot-less planes.
The air surrounding drones has changed quite a bit in the past few years. With their growing presence in the media, their potential is becoming recognized more and more. They can be used for reasons other than spying and warfare. People are now using drones in many awesome ways.
There is no end to how drones will be used in future. Even today, companies are thinking of new creative ways to use them. Other than these professional ways of using drones, there are some recreational ways to enjoy with them as well.
Does all this talk about drones and package delivery remind you of the Jetsons? I used to watch that cartoon as a kid, and thinking how unreal it was to drive your car in the air or to have your mail and/or packages delivered by a robot!
We certainly have witnessed a tremendous amount of technical advances in our lifetime journey. From the advent of Television to Drone Deliveries, we can only turn the page to see what tomorrow brings…
What do you think or feel about drones? Join the dialogue and let us know what you predict will be next…
As always, I am…a delivered Boomer Explorer.