Some years ago, drones were strictly used for military, government institutions as well as a few education and research institutes. For most people, they were just a foreign concept just a few years ago. It’s a new year however and drones are very much part of our day-to-day life. From Amazon and Domino’s Pizza working on delivery systems to aerial photography, their applications will soon be part of our daily lives.
The drone industry is expected to be worth over $10 billion by 2020. So, where is the drone industry headed and what are the trends that will be dominant in the future?
Though the research and development are still in the very early stages, autonomy will be the driving factor in the drone industry. An autonomous drone collects huge amounts of data and processes this data into usable information which enables them to make independent decisions and take action without the need for human intervention.
Autonomy will not only cut down costs involved with using drones, especially the industrial drones but also make using drones extremely easy. Military drones were the pioneers in this field but civilian and commercial drones have increasingly adopted this technology. Companies like Percepto have spearheaded this technology that’s slated to change our use of drones forever.
We are even starting to see personal drones that can “follow” you, allowing you to be hands free while the drone captures video and images. Imagine skateboarding or riding a bike, and having your own drone take stunning videos of you, while you can concentrate on your activity. This is already a reality! Some even have obstacle avoidance where not only will they follow and film you, but they will make sure they don’t accidentally crash into anything while doing so!
More Military Applications
Drones have been in use by military forces for decades now but with every passing day, their use is redefined. The latest is the US Navy’s call for the design and construction of refueling drones. These drones will be used to deliver fuel to the fighter jets from warships. Boeing has already made a phenomenal drone that can carry 15,000 pounds of fuel over 500 miles! This is just one of the many applications that military drones can expect to change modern warfare. “The sky is the limit” literally when it comes to drones in this sector.
Oil Exploration and Drilling
Archaic oil exploration and drilling methods have in the recent past led to major oil spills that have led to the loss of human and aquatic life. Customized drones with advanced equipment are being used to bring safety and efficiency into this field and the results are quite impressive. Drones will be used as data retrieval platforms as well as to detect any hiccups in the process. They are yet to receive mass adoption by the major oil corporations but in time, they will become a necessity. It’s just a matter of time that there will be drones flying over rigs and inspecting pipelines for leakage. This will allow faster reaction times to leaks helping to minimize the damage caused.
While in the developed world ambulances are readily available to most people, the situation in the developing nations is very different. In some countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, ambulances are so few that many lose their lives as they await medical assistance. This has all been changed however by the introduction of drones in the medical sector. Zipline and the Rwandan government were the pioneers in this field and others have followed suit. In the near future, drones will be the medium of choice for many to deliver medical supplies to the remote locations especially because of the poor state of the roadways. We can expect to see drones saving lives around the world.
Many more developments are expected to take place in this fast-evolving sector. Drones will keep infiltrating every part of our lives, making it better, faster, more efficient, less costly and more convenient. The future certainly looks bright for drone enthusiasts.