Investors can feel confident that there will be a demand for drone technology in both the consumer and commercial markets. The applications will become endless as government organizations, corporations and individuals will find increasing uses for these devices. Widespread utilization has been inhibited by the cost of the computer components and platforms that these machines require in their engineering. The expenditures in the manufacture of drones are now dropping to the point where a revolution in the industry is about to take place.
One can clearly see applications in agriculture, ranching and forestry. There are broad uses in law enforcement, investigations, search and rescue, and general crowd control. Individuals and corporations can also use the technology for purposes of security and as an anti-theft deterrent. The next incarnation of these devices will include advances in transportation and communications.
In farming, drone technology allows farmers a full inspection of crops that encompass hundreds or even thousands of acres. Unseen pests or weeds can be dealt with in an efficient manner as a result. It is not easy to conduct a ground survey of such vast acreage in a timely fashion. Since diseased foliage can be identified from hundreds of feet away it provides a great benefit to farmers. It allows what is called precision agriculture. That is strategic use of fertilizers and pesticides. This permits major cost savings and a more environmentally friendly approach to crop management. In the past you just treated the entire area under cultivation, which is a major waste of resources and more damaging to the local biosphere.
You can also survey from the air, which cultivated areas will need more water to help maximize crop production.
In ranching and animal husbandry one can easily count numbers and identify if any individual animals need human attention. The cost savings in time and extra man hours that would be required to do this from the ground, cannot be underestimated.
In the harvest of grain crops, fruits, nuts, and vegetables, drone technology can be utilized to determine the optimum time.
Drones will allow vast acreage to be covered to inspect the health of trees in a relatively short period of time. It can also help determine when trees would be ready for timbering. This will bring a major change in forestry management.
The technology will also be a great help to security firms, who have either small or even large areas to manage and maintain. It is quite easy to determine when something is amiss on property or land that is under supervision, with the assistance of drones.
A number of companies are already making plans to employ drones in the delivery of packages and important correspondences. At the end of last year Amazon announced it was testing the use of drones, to deliver parcels within a 10 miles radius of the warehouses that it runs. Within the last two weeks Google has publicized the development of a prototype delivery drone. It is part of their larger enterprise known as Project Wing. This is folded into what the company refers to as Google X.
One of the biggest hurdle will be inducing regulators that drones will pose no threat to the general public when deliveries begin. The Federal Aviation Administration in the United States approved the first commercial drone flight this past spring, but it is still has not authorized wider use of the technology. Aside from safety there are also privacy concerns.
The issue of privacy is not to be underestimated. Government officials and celebrities may find that personal space has now become more elusive and complicated to say the least. You are no longer unseen behind privacy fences and walls, that were mostly designed for a different era.
In the United States use of drone technology is limited to individuals and government purposes. Commercial organizations are still for the most part banned in the use of this science.
Google has continued with tests in Australia. Prototypes there successfully delivered supplies to remote farms. The device has a single wing and four propellers. It actually lands and rakes off much like a helicopter, but in flight moves more like a plane. Using this type of technology will actually speed up deliveries according to designers at the company.
The company has also has touted other uses for the technology including emergency deliveries of supplies during natural and man made disasters. This could include medicines, rations, and other needed items. It could ease congestion on the ground as well as being safer during a calamity.
Other investigators point out that drone technology is much more environmentally friendly.
Another purpose is to use the engineering of these devices in the field of news gathering. One can move the machines right up to burning buildings, crowds of people, riots and civil disturbances. Cameras on board, permit much better photography then would be possible from the ground. It is also overall, vastly safer for journalists, reporters and camera operators in dangerous situations.
This type of technology makes reporting more accurate as well. It is also harder for local government authorities to control. The data can also been transmitted without the knowledge of national leaders. It makes the cover up of incidences much harder to achieve. In the United States there is an increasing trend of news outfits in acquiring footage provided by amateurs. This is a result of the continuing ban on commercial applications, which will be harder to justify in the years ahead. The United States government has already announced that new less restrictive rules, are already in the works.
In the United Kingdom commercial drone flights are permitted, provided they are close to where the operators of the devices are. In urban areas it is harder to monitor, so widespread use is more limited to countryside applications. Drones overall has become a more common site for travelers to Europe.
The benefits to sports arenas and fields for public viewing can be clearly understood. A spectator on site or from a more remote area, can get the best perspectives possible. It can obviously provide a home watcher a birds eye view of the activity on the ground.
One can easily see the advantages of drone technology in energy exploration and development. It also permits easier supervision of above ground oil and gas pipelines. Maintenance of remote facilities and supporting infrastructure can more easily be done as well. Far less labor will be required in the field, without sacrificing any safety. It will allow quicker response times to any emergencies in the energy industry across the spectrum.
The benefits in the application of drone technology is not just logistical. It is also cost effective. More advanced models are priced in the thousands but cheaper models can be had for only hundreds of dollars. As cameras and battery life improve over time, the cost savings will become more obvious. The loss of a single drone in this case is much more affordable and will be increasingly so, as prices on the more basic models continue to drop.
Most people are familiar with the military operations of drone technology. Not only in surveillance but in delivery of lethal weaponry, in the field of battle. What is less known is their increasing use in air traffic management in civilian and commercial aircraft. It is restricted in the United States and in many countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America ,but the pressure is on for increased utilization. The benefits for search and rescue, temporary WiFi, aerial photography and weather updates cannot be denied.
Upper level and graduate courses are already being offered in a number of learning institutions in the United States and Europe. Planners there, definitely see a future for drone technology.
It should be obvious that an entire new industry is about to come to fruition. Potential investors should consider various companies, to capitalize on this burgeoning commercial enterprise.