A Look at Drone Applications Beyond Recreational Hobbies

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We’ve all seen drones by now. The commercialization of these powerful technologies has made it possible for anyone to purchase and fly remote devices in a local park or nearby clearing. However, drones have far better applications than simple recreational use. Understanding these applications will help clear the air – no pun intended – about this somewhat controversial technology.

4 Promising Applications

For all of the negative press drones often get in regards to safety, security, and personal privacy, there’s actually a very long list of promising applications the public may not know about. So, before you make a decision about drones based on a couple of negative headlines you’ve seen on the news, consider the following and think about the real value of this progressive technology.

  1. Search and Rescue Missions

One of the more incredible drone applications is in search and rescue missions and other dangerous and timely situations. Whereas planes and helicopters are traditionally used to gain a view from the sky, drones can be deployed more quickly and under more challenging situations. This can be especially useful in firefighting situations.

“Their carbon fibre housing allows our drones to operate successfully under testing conditions such as rain or snow and at extreme temperatures, as in the case of fires,” explains Microdrones, a leader in drone technology. “With data transfer to the mdBaseStation taking place in real time, it is no longer necessary for firefighters or other support personnel to enter the danger zone in order to analyse the situation.”

  1. Accident and Crime Scene Reconstruction

When it comes to reconstructing automobile accidents to determine what happened and who’s at fault, drones are being carefully considered. Much like in search and rescue missions, they can be quickly and cost-effectively deployed to give insurance companies, attorneys, and the legal system a better view of what happened.

Reportedly, the U.S. Justice Department and the National Criminal Justice Research Test and Evaluation Center are now looking for police departments to reconstruct accident scenes across the country. According to The Law Offices of Michael Pines, this pilot project is expected to begin in 2017.

  1. Shipping and Delivery

As the ecommerce industry has scaled and shoppers are picking up their mobile devices to make purchases more than via desktop, the demand for quicker shipping times has also increased. Websites like Amazon released two-day shipping options a couple years ago, but now even offer same-day shipping on certain products in select cities. In the future, they plan on besting themselves again with shipping in 30 minutes or less.

Currently named Amazon Prime Air, this future delivery system is designed to safely transport packages from the warehouse to the doorstep in a matter of minutes. They claim that the technology exists, but that regulatory issues with the FAA stand in the way.

  1. Geographic Mapping

Since drones are able to reach difficult-to-access areas like mountaintops or eroded coastlines, they are useful tools for acquiring the high-resolution data that’s needed to build 3D maps. Thousands of amateurs are now able to produce their own maps and it’s opened up new opportunities in terms of who can collect data and how it can be used. There are even some unique crowd-source applications, including OpenStreetMap.

The Value of Drone Technology

Drone technology will face many challenges in the coming years, as it continues to become commercialized and marketed to the public. Drone manufacturers and users will have to do a better job of educating people about how they work, while lawmakers set reasonable restrictions and guidelines to protect the privacy of citizens.

However, one thing is clear: The versatility of drone technology makes it an ideal solution for many problems.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.