Today, drones function as both toys and tools. They are fun but complex instruments that fly around and perform all kinds of aerial tasks. They take stunning photos of the land, capture unmatchable group photos, and spy on the neighbours. There are various entertainment and competitions created with astonishing rewards just to satisfy enthusiasts, like Airvuz’s ongoing weekly drone video contest and FAI drone racing world cup.
In recent years, drones have been growing increasingly capable and are being integrated more and more into our daily life. Whether for online retail, internet, military, agriculture, surveillance, or simply, the pleasure of flight, the future holds huge promise for these flying gadgets.
The vision of using drones for online retail may seem like the most exciting future use of drones, but it is also the most hypothetical. In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the company’s plan to use delivery drones, starting Project Prime Air. First-ever delivery flights have been completed, but this plan is not near ready to be implemented into retail on a wide scale.
A related dream involves flying food around and delivering it to hungry customers quickly and efficiently by drone. In a short exemplary video, the DomiCopter of Domino’s Pizza flew two large pepperoni pizzas over to a customer. After a speedy 10-minute flight, the fresh and piping hot pizzas were delivered.
A Nascent Technology
No companies have yet developed complete and approved systems to replace transporting planes and cars with drones, but the notion of drone delivery remains a hot subject of potential development. Certainly, the effort to fly rather than drive food deliveries retains a large “cool” factor among competing businesses and garners significant media attention.
The future is often said to be bigger, and in the future, some drones are a great deal larger. Facebook has been testing a full-size drone that has the same wingspan as a Boeing 737. There is a tentative plan to employ this drone with technology to direct internet to remote places of the world that are otherwise incredibly difficult to access. A similarly sized drone has been developed by Google in Project Wing, although Google’s full-sized drone crashed dramatically during a test run in 2015.
Still, these ambitious projects remain up in the air. It is predicted that Google’s Project Wing, Amazon’s Prime Air, or Domino’s the DomiCopter will not dominate the entire world anytime soon. At present, they remain largely concealed tests and catchy headlines.
While the commercial flight of drones is highly regulated in the United States at present, the “safe and secure” integration of unmanned aircraft system into US airspace is a matter of priority consideration in this upcoming year. The result of several years of legal discussion, regulation, and constant effort is that drones are slowly but steadily gaining admittance in the airspace.
What Does the Future Hold?
Predictions for the future of drones vary but remain highly promising. As technology advances, drones are becoming increasingly accessible and convenient tools. Drones are already used for capturing photos and videos, mapping lands, protecting wildlife, monitoring traffic, scanning oil pipelines, and finding lost hikers, just to name a few.
Drones operated by the US military for surveillance purposes along borders are in the process of being adopted by NASA and the US Forest Service to monitor wildfires. These fields where drones are being used are expanding rapidly as the unique capabilities of drones becomes apparent.
There is a wide area of potential for drones in agriculture, where the enormous scale of production requires a large quantity of labour. Drones might be used to spot plant disease, to spray pesticides, or for crop pollination. Solar-powered drones could serve as incredibly valuable tools for farmers by working at low costs to the users and to the environment.
Other proposed uses for drones are slightly less pretty. Drones have the potential for being used for military purposes, functioning as vicious but disposable adversaries that attack in swarms or alone and hold serious potential for causing extraordinary damage. The US Marine Corps’ harbours an ambitious plan to use drones in land, sea, and air for the protection of soldiers or combat against other drones. Drones might be employed as scouts or even spies.
As drones show every sign of being more skilful and prevalent in the future, drone-related education becomes increasingly important. Over just the last few years, drone technology has begun to be represented in university programs, and over two dozen colleges now offer degrees relating to drone technology. Far more institutions offer relevant classes.
In any event, as drones become more competent, they become ever more essential to our way of life. As drones become cheaper, smaller, and more capable, they may eventually be seen in large groups, almost like birds. The future will most certainly encompass flocks of drones.
Can Citizen Journalism Work?
Citizen journalism promised a lot. It promised that people right in the middle of events, armed only with a smartphone...
Building the 21st Century Newsroom
Putting together the morning edition of your newspaper is difficult. Journalists must find stories, research them, write up their reports...
Fighting Fake News
Everything old is new again. Fake news is not new – it is just a new word for an old...
Are Billionaires the Only People That Can Save Newspapers?
Billionaires dominate so much of our attention. They are treated as people to look up to, to emulate and to...