As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Drone sales are on the rise with each passing year, and more and more people are embracing the idea of owning such devices. With all this attention, these unmanned aerial vehicles are now finding more practical and innovative uses and applications.
Drones are no longer just for the supreme enthusiasts, as these devices have penetrated the world of technology and consumer use. A lot of businesses are looking forward to utilizing the capacities of these machines to the best effects. There are some very basic uses for drones, and there are also some really creative ideas that you could make use of in your life.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the many uses and applications for drones. Let us find out how people can put these drones to work:
Military Uses of Drones
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have found a number of applications in the military and defense world. This is especially true in the case of the defense of the United States of America.
In fact, the US Government was first known to start its experiments with UAVs way back in 1917.
Owing to the small size of the drones, they can usually penetrate into constricted spaces. Add to that, many drones have effective cameras and this makes the drones suitable for purposes of bomb detection. Thus, these aerial vehicles are apt for making us aware of live bombs and save lives in the process.
The defense of any country usually involves conducting regular surveys of potentially hazardous areas in order to ensure protection of the people and the place.
Using drones, in this case, could be an interesting idea. This reduces manual labor and you get a wider field of view. This also does not hamper the normal lives of the people as they do not have to enter these dangerous areas themselves. However, this does bring up the issue of invasion of privacy and where the ethical boundary is.
These unmanned aerial vehicles are also used for the purpose of air strikes. It had once been confirmed by President Obama that they used drones regularly to attack militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan. They fly around suspected areas, as controlled by the defense personnel, and they can be operated in particular areas in order to fulfill military operations. For much more information on this topic, we suggest checking out our article about law enforcement drones. Although this does make combat safer for the drone pilots, it raises numerous moral and ethical concerns regarding the lack of accountability and failure to fully grasp the consequences of actions. This is certainly a hotly debated political issue in many areas of the world.
Non-Military Uses of Drones
Filming and Journalism
The world of media has really conquered the idea of using drones to their fullest extent. A lot of movies these days are shot using quadcopters and other drones.
This idea has given the movie industry a completely new look and some of the names that come up when we talk about filmography with drones are James Bond’s Skyfall, the well-acclaimed Leonard Di Caprio’s The Wolf of Wall Street, the evergreen Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the popular television series Game of Thrones and many more. Filmmakers have fully grasped the idea of drone flight in their creative process and have managed to generate a wide range of new ideas and perspectives.
Also, the ability of the drones to reach places where reporters cannot reach has heightened their use in the world of journalism. Aerial footage for live broadcast is becoming increasingly useful these days, and you can get much more familiar with this topic by reading our article about the best drones for filming.
Drones are also extremely popular in the world of aerial photography. Whether you are a professional or an amateur, you can most likely see the appeal of taking high-quality images from fresh perspectives. Drones allow you to reach many places that you cannot reach on foot, and the opportunity for creative photography is vast. Many consumer drones are developed with the specific purpose of aiding in commercial photography and videography.
Shipping and Delivery
Even though the shipping and delivery applications of UAVs are still being developed, this idea could be revolutionary for the world in the near future. This could significantly improve delivery times and reduce human labor. Be it delivering pizzas, letters, or even small parcels, these programmed drones could do the work for you.
In fact, Amazon is working on its resources to facilitate 30-minute delivery services by means of drones. If this is brought to fruition, more than half of your shopping and food orders could be done within a span of a few minutes, with drones delivering your packages at your doorstep. You can find out much more about these type of drones by reading our article about delivery drones.
The main hindrance involved in this process is generally whether legislation will update to allow all those drones to fly around cities, towns, and neighborhoods. As with anything, we will have to wait and see how much traction this idea will gain, and whether the legal requirements will be put in place.
One of the most important applications for these UAVs lies in disaster management. It is often seen that there is utter chaos and mismanagement of resources soon after a disaster, be it a man-made or a natural calamity. Drones could help you significantly here. By coordinating valuable resources and eliminating the need for a vast amount of manpower, these drones could be of great help immediately following a disaster, and even save lives.
With powerful cameras, these devices could collect information and drone images of the debris in a specific area. You would get clearer footage of the accident site without having to spend a lot of money on helicopters. Add to that, owing to their small size, they are able to penetrate into places that would otherwise be difficult for helicopters to enter and provide close-up views and high-quality images.
Rescue Operations and Healthcare
Usually, a rescue operation is a fight against time. You need to get the work done fast and smoothly. This is where drones come in handy. With the help of thermal sensors, drones can locate lost persons. They are also especially useful at night or even in challenging terrains. Simply put, drones can easily reach places that many humans cannot, and this can be invaluable when timely rescues are critical.
These can be deployed quickly and can travel through small spaces. Besides, these UAVs are also useful for sending in food or medical supplies to unreachable locations before the rescue team comes in to help. Thus, drones can be the first to arrive and collect information for rescue operations.
Over the years, a lot of people have spent a lot of time and energy over archaeological surveys. Now, drones have made this work easier since they can bring us important footage and essential details about these archaeological sites.
This has significantly helped the archaeologists in their mission of discovery. A tool that can quickly survey the area and collect data is invaluable to archaeologists, and allows them to more fully concentrate their efforts on research, analysis, and interpretation.
Drones also have had an enormous effect in the field of 3D geographic mapping. There are regions on the earth that are not easily accessible to humans. This might include some dangerous coastlines or unattainable mountain tops. But for the purpose of studying the terrain and preparing 3D maps, drones have been put to use.
This technology is now available to everyone to capture imagery for mapping these locations. Thus, geologists now find it easier to collect data from these sites to pursue various mapping processes.
Drones have a lot of potential in terms of law enforcement – these devices have the innate ability of hovering around locations without drawing much attention from the people. Thus, this can be used for surveillance or for public safety.
Crowds of people can be monitored and criminal activity can be detected in case there is an emergency. These can also be used for law enforcement officials at crime scenes, where a more detailed view can give us more information about the situation.
Also, situations of fire outbreak could also be curtailed by the help of drones. It is always better to send drones first in a fire outbreak to see the situation and survey the potential risk before humans get inside.
Moreover, drones are also used by border patrol officials who work towards monitoring criminal activity at the border, especially the transport of drugs.
Uses of drones for traffic monitoring could also be an idea. Traffic surveillance with drones could be one of the biggest applications in helping you know the best way to get through your commute.
Some companies need to carry out regular inspections in order to ensure the safety of their infrastructure. This includes surveying power lines, oil and gas pipelines, wind turbines, bridges and buildings under construction and the likes. Drones are being put to use for these purposes. This can be especially ideal because it eliminates the safety concerns and time commitments involved with putting humans in these areas.
Regular aerial monitoring can lead to significant improvements in constructing infrastructure, leading to improved performances and better developments. Besides, if the drones are small enough, they can get close to capturing imagery that can give us a more detailed idea of the construction, thus making the whole process more efficient.
Drones have also found applications in the field of agriculture. This is especially true for large scale farmers who have reported significant improvements in crop yields with the use of these drones. Regular aerial monitoring of agricultural lands can provide us with a more in depth analysis of crop performance.
With the help of the near infrared sensors, one could study the health of these crops and farmers could act accordingly. Moreover, drones can perform this analysis at low costs with no impact on the fields or the surrounding areas. This not only leads to healthy crop growth, but also increases their yield.
Just like how drones are working on agricultural lands to improve their yields, these unmanned aerial vehicles are also striving towards monitoring the fauna of the regions.
There are two specific advantages of this. Firstly, wildlife monitoring could lead to the prevention of poaching, which is one of the reasons why a lot of animals are becoming endangered these days. Secondly, the footage from the aerial devices could help us study animal behavior and analyze their patterns.
The most effective thing about using drones for these services is that they do not affect or disturb wildlife. Additionally, they can be used at night with thermal camera sensors to monitor the animals at all times. A lot of wildlife sanctuaries and conservation parks are thus resorting to drones to ensure safety of the animals through proper monitoring and analysis.
One of the most important uses of drones lies in weather forecasting. This has, once again, given new light to the concept of predicting the weather conditions. With exceptional cameras and effective sensors, these drones can collect important information that could aid in weather forecasts.
For instance, sending drones into the hurricanes, tornadoes and the likes could bring us essential footage to study their patterns and occurrences. These drones can then focus on detailed weather parameters. Drones are also very apt for this job because of their unmanned nature. Drones could safely go into weather events when humans cannot, and we can collect valuable information and data in the process.
This is indeed one of the first known applications of drones. Because of improved technology, more and more drones are now well equipped to carry heavy camera gear that could really help enthusiasts in delivering aerial views of the specific regions.
Besides, the drones, these days, are stable and can give you crisp and clear images. With the features such as live Wi-Fi streaming, you are also able to get First Person Views of the drone’s movements in real-time!
If you can add a gimbal, it stabilizes the camera to get you better pictures. Also, you can control what the camera sees and captures right from your smartphone, immediately getting HD video right to your phone.
There are even drones that will follow you around and film you as you move. Simply by holding a tracker, the drone can follow your movements and record you as you are doing something. This is a great option for extreme sports athletes such as snowboarders and surfers!
Unique and Creative Uses of Drones
So far, we have discussed the essential and practical applications of drones. Let us now focus on some of the most innovative or creative uses that could change the way we look at drones. As you will see here, drones can be a lot of fun, and many people have found ways to use drones in some pretty interesting ways. Here are some ideas:
The Drone Selfie or the Dronie
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to capture a ‘selfie’ with a drone from a certain height?
The selfie is the word of the decade now with more and more people taking them and posting them to all sorts of social media. With selfie sticks doing the rounds now, it would be a rather great idea to use a drone for this purpose. This is indeed one of the more interesting uses of a drone. And no selfie sticks to get in the way!
This would mean a lot more people could fit into the picture and you would get a real aerial view. Besides, you could control the camera functions right from the base. This could work well as the longest distance selfie you’ve ever taken.
This is another popular activity that is making its way into our lives. A lot more people are now engaging into this sport and pursuing it as a hobby. It is like video game racing except that you encounter real situations and you are controlling a real drone.
Drone racing in the woods is not an uncommon activity. Besides, it can closely resemble real bike racing with a lot more thrill since you would be controlling the device from a distance. For this purpose, you would need an agile drone that can make swift turns and acrobatic movements. The construction of the drone in this case might be just as important as the skill of the drone racer.
Users strap into a VR headset so it is like they are seeing the drone’s flight through their own eyes. It’s definitely a fast moving, extreme activity!
Drones have found a vast number of applications in different sectors. They are no longer limited to just military uses, and different businesses are now investing in these devices for swifter and more responsive customer service. Perhaps someday we will see all of our parcels delivered by commercial drone.
Consumer uses for drones are very popular today as well, from just using your drone as a toy to fly around, to using it for many different hobbies. Small scale tricopters and quadcopters are popular for consumer use, because they are small, portable, and easy to learn. Consumer uses for drones should continue to expand in the future as more and more people find out what a cool hobby it can be.
The many uses for drones show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. From business, to military, to photography, to consumer use, to just plain using a drone for fun, there might be something in the world of drones for anyone. This is why this is such a fun area to keep your eyes on, and the technology might just keep surprising you!
Please let us know how you are planning to use your drone in comments.
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.