Have you ever wondered what some common uses of drones are in our daily lives? We did too! After all, sales of US consumer UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) exceeded $1.25 billion in 2020.
So what are these common uses? Well, there are actually quite a lot! But for the sake of time, we’ll only be discussing 10 of them.
Here are 10 common uses of drones in our daily lives:
- Search and rescue
- Police drones
- Photography and videography
- Real estate
- Military use
1: Search and Rescue
Drones are used for search and rescue operations because of their small sizes and maneuverability allowing them to reach areas that humans couldn’t otherwise easily reach. They can travel very far, very fast making them very useful and efficient for this field of work.
They make it easier to cover large areas and tough-to-get-to spots making it a very cost effective and efficient when finding missing persons.
Another issue is the terrain rescuers have to navigate through. Often times people go missing in rural areas that can be very dangerous due to harsh terrain and climates. UAVs prove efficient with their ability to fly around and skip this strenuous effort which allows them to reach the possibly injured person much quicker saving their lives.
Now you may be wondering, ‘How do these drones see at night?’. Well, these drones are equipped with thermal imaging technology which simplifies this process quite a bit. Thermal imaging cameras allow us to see heat signatures in the dark by rendering infrared radiation as visible light. This camera can be used in the day time and at night.
These UAVs can carry around 6 pounds of weight and only fly for around 11-12 minutes.
They have multiple cameras on these drones, one being the thermal camera we discussed above, and the rest are regular cameras that are located in front of the drone and a drop-cam which allows you to see underneath the drone.
To give a brief summary of the whole process, they use the drone to find the individual that needs rescuing, this drone is equipped with a first aid kit attached to it, then they drop it near the injured person and bring back the drone.
Check out this video if you’d like to see this process in action!
2: Police Drones
A career in law enforcement can be very dangerous. In 2020 alone, 48 officers in the US were shot and killed on the job, not including all the Covid-19 related deaths.
Drones can provide life saving help for police officers in the field by providing a great aerial view on the potential dangers that lie ahead. They are also being used to search for missing individuals, suspects on the run and even in natural disasters.
Some police forces in the US are already using these drones for surveillance around communities and for the reasons mentioned above.
Many are against this due to privacy violations which is very understandable. In order for the police to do their jobs, they may need to peer into our private lives and our personal properties in order to find what they are looking for.
Police drones serve as a constant reminder that we’re being watched which can be very unsettling to think about and to experience first-hand.
More than 300 states and local law enforcement officials are using UAVs in some way.
Leave a comment down below to let us know how you feel about the use of drones in police forces.
3: Photography and Videography
Now this one we all know. Photography and videography are some of the leading uses of drones today. Most drones can be fitted with cameras in order to take beautiful images and videos 400 feet in the sky.
These include images/videos for capturing live events, filming movies, real estate and much more! You can take these portable devices pretty much anywhere due to how small they usually are.
Some photographers need to endure harsh and possibly life-threatening conditions in order to find the perfect shot, which is something that a drone could easily do.
UAVs have become one of the greatest advancements in photography, and are sure to continue to be used for years to come.
Drones can be used in the farming industry by providing a birds eye view of the whole land. This can show the farmer many problems that are occurring on their fields. These farmers use computers, data networking and GPS technology to monitor their crops allowing them to maximise yields.
The process starts with the farmer inputting a rough outline of the entire field into a phone. The best and shortest flight plan is calculated and the drone is off!
This can reveal problems such as mouse and lice infestations and damp spots to name a few.
Below is a video showing the process from above:
There is no denying that we hate having to wait sometimes days for our deliveries, so we pay more money for next day delivery. With the implementation of drones in this industry, we could expect to see ‘same day delivery’ soon with huge companies such as Amazon.
Surprisingly, Amazon has already been testing this in Cambridge, England in a private trial for a few customers.
Drone delivery works by automatically loading a package onto a delivery drone once a customer buys a product. This drone is then brought along an automated track until it reaches a safe distance away from the warehouse. It then begins to fly towards the customers house to make the delivery.
Once it arrives, it just drops the package in their back yard and makes it’s way back.
They are guided by GPS and have a maximum carry load of 5 pounds.
What makes this even more impressive is that these drones are completely autonomous, from start to finish. They automatically take off, deliver the package, fly back and land by themselves without the help of a human operator.
Not only could this technology be used to deliver our packages, but it could also be used to deliver very important things like medicine when urgently needed.
6: Real Estate
Drones are used in the real estate industry for taking aerial pictures and videos of the property and surrounding land. This allows the agent to make a one-time payment of $1,500 for a drone instead of the old more costly method of renting a helicopter for $2,000/hour.
Many agents in the real estate industry require beautiful shots of the property they’re trying to sell including all aspects like the land around it and what lies beyond the property itself.
What better way to achieve this then to fly a few hundred feet above ground with an HD quality camera and take a few pictures and videos.
Without the use of UAVs, this could not easily be done. It could require very costly methods such as using a helicopter for example.
It may cost a real estate agent around $1,500 to buy themselves the equipment needed to start using a drone for their business, but compared to the cost of using a helicopter every single time you need pictures, the first option is a lot more efficient and cost effective.
It costs a minimum of $2,000/hour to fly a helicopter!
Long are the days that real estate agents need to take a plane or helicopter every time they need an aerial photo. All they need now is an efficient drone that can easily carry out exactly what they need to be done in a very short amount of time.
Construction is another field where drones are used, specifically in inspections of buildings. These drones are capable of reaching areas that are hard to reach for these workers. The usual means of reaching these areas can be very dangerous for them.
UAVs with cameras are used here to inspect the entire building for possible hazards that could lead to very bad outcomes if not dealt with. They play a very important role in making sure the buildings we live in are structurally safe for our families.
Drones also save a lot of time and money that building inspectors otherwise would need to spend because of how easy they are to set up, how high they can fly and the camera’s that can be mounted on them.
Drones are also starting to be used for journalism. In 2018, 80 journalists where killed worldwide. Journalism can in some cases be potentially life threatening and deadly.
Journalist’s are sometimes required to enter areas plagued with war, areas affected by natural disasters and areas with large deadly fires to name a few.
Reporting can be a very dangerous job, but there is a possibility to change this fact by using drones. They are capable of getting footage that can clearly show what is happening from a high altitude.
Drones can also get close to the action without the risk of endangering the life of a reporter.
Besides death, journalist’s can also face imprisonment and kidnapping. In 2018, 251 journalist’s where imprisoned worldwide and 60 were kidnapped.
By using drones in these war zones and all around dangerous areas, they are no longer exposed to the risk of fatal injury and/or death.
Students in journalism schools are being taught the positive impacts UAVs could have on their future jobs and the use of drones are currently being used more and more in this field of work.
A firefighters job is not an easy one and every single second counts. A small fire started with a match can turn into a large fire capable of taking down a building.
Drones can help not only by helping put out the fires, but also by locating injured people who are trapped or immobile.
Thermal imaging finds yet another use in this job as firefighters attach them to UAVs in order to find out how many people need rescuing and the best plan of action. They can help keep the firefighters safe, and get to the injured faster and safer.
They can reach tight spaces firefighters wouldn’t be able to reach which could prevent injury. All-in-all they provide great situational awareness which is extremely important in such an event.
There are a few drones that have been created and are big enough to carry a fire hose when flying. This can provide tremendous help when fires are burning at higher levels (for example in a skyrise) and needs to be put out quickly.
These drones can fly around 80 levels to put it out, making it much more efficient and much safer for firefighters.
UAVs were first created by the military, only later released for public use. They were initially just instruments of war. These drones greatly increase a soldier’s life expectancy.
Drones are used for surveillance and recon missions in the military. The idea is to damage the opponent’s forces with the least risk for their own soldiers. These types of drones are commonly fitted with weapons such as bombs to be dropped on the enemy.
Thermal imaging technology helps identify and plan an attack against the enemy, creating the greatest possible outcome for a mission success. No matter how much planning goes into these operations, there is still a chance it could fail as UAVs are not perfect.
There are many different applications of drones in our daily lives. In this article, we only scratched the surface when looking at the ways UAVs are being used to benefit us today whether that be for search and rescue, construction, military or even in the real estate industry.
This is truly an amazing technology that continues to be used and improved upon whether that be for drone hobbyists, or in the commercial industry.
What are your favorite applications for drones?