The rapid technological advances of the past few decades have played a major part in revolutionising industries and generally streamlining our daily lives. This can be seen in automation or the development of artificial technology in the tech sector.
One piece of tech that has seen a boom in popularity from these technological developments is the drone, or as it is known more formally, the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Drones have become more ubiquitous as they have become available to retail customers at affordable price levels and, today, play a role for both private and commercial entities.
Drone technology has even revolutionised industries such as filmmaking and agriculture by providing novel perspectives and enhancing efficiency. But what other ways can drone technology provide a cutting edge to other industries and sectors?
From military to ordinary
The history of drones is intrinsically linked to the military as this was the first use of an unmanned aircraft, being primarily used as a vessel for espionage. There is some debate as to the date of the first use of a drone, as some have argued that preindustrial vehicles such as the hot air balloon as the first UAS. Still, their first military use is generally considered in the mid-19th century.
The military drone as we know it today was created in the 1930s by the British military, and this started a long process that has resulted in the drone in its modern form.
Today, these military-grade drones have found use within civilian life, with their capabilities for defence and surveillance proving useful to a myriad of different industries.
Search and rescue
One of the industries that drones have played a significant role in revolutionising includes search and rescue operations, where drones can provide a greater degree of real-time imaging. With drones, search and rescue workers are able to access areas they may not be able to, such as rugged terrains and remote regions.
With the help of drone technology, search and rescue workers are better able to perform their duties and save more lives.
Another industry where drone technology is providing new benefits and measures is in environmental monitoring, where these devices can provide data at lower costs and increased efficiency.
Organisations which collect data on environmental degradation can use drones equipped with sensors to perform inspections, identifying structural defects and potential issues without putting human inspectors at risk. This ultimately improves the safety of the data collection and reduces costs.
Agriculture and crop monitoring is another aspect that has been dramatically impacted by drone technology as the use of UAS’ again provides enhanced data collection and reduced manpower for doing so. Farmers can monitor crop health and other data from the images taken by drones equipped with multispectral and hyperspectral imaging.
The use of this technology provides excellent benefit to farmers by alerting them to dangers to their crop and identifying irrigation needs allowing for increased efficiency in their use of resources and potentially increasing crop yields.
These are just a few of the alternate uses that military-grade drones have today in various industries, and the list could go on. As with other technological advancements, the rapid commercialisation of drone technology is something which will only continue into the future.