Yes, you’ve seen them you may even have a drone. But did you know that drones are already being developed to do much more than fancy youtube flyover shots or kids crashing them into park trees!
1. Food delivery
Yes it could happen imagine ordering a pizza then waiting for a drone to arrive, opening a window and collect the pizza from the drone! This concept has also been demonstrated by the motor company Ford, a self driving vehicle would carry food most of the way, then deploying or meeting a drone that would make the final delivery to the customer. Of course food is not the only thing that can be delivered in this way, medicine or small goods could be delivered in the same way.
2. Special Vehicle Operations
Drones are making a mark in the realm of rescue missions. The motor company Land Rover’s project Hero is a compelling case supporting this. The company has designed and built a special Land Rover Discovery featuring a drone. This vehicle is being tested by the Austrian Red Cross whilst on search and rescue missions. The drone is fixed to the vehicle magnetically and can leave the vehicle and return to its dock even when the vehicle is moving.
This is just one example of how drones can be effectively used to search for missing people.
3. Drones as passenger vehicles
Blade runner, Star wars, Fifth Element all have futuristic flying vehicles, but one day we all may be able to travel in one just like these. No need to learn how to drive (or fly) them they will be like automated Uber Taxis. Italdesign and Airbus have in fact designed a part-drone pod like concept called Pop.Up. As soon as the pod approaches a traffic jam a large flying drone will arrive, pick up the pod and fly it to its destination.
4. Audi’s Assistant Drones
The car manufacturing giant Audi has already designed a car factory for the future. In this futuristic work environment both drones and human workers will work together building cars as efficiently as humanly (and drone-ly!) possible.
Drones could deliver parts to different areas of the factory, perform quality checks on vehicles – especially on hard to reach or see areas.
This idea will probably be one of the first areas we see drones in full effect, big companies such as Amazon are already looking into using drones to deliver goods to its customers. Amazon have already launched a service called Prime Air on their website.
Promising delivery in around 30 minutes a private trial has already been successful in the UK, albeit privately. A package was successfully delivered to a customer in 13 minutes after being ordered, Amazon now look into what drones could actually accomplish. They have patented technology that allows drones to react to human gestures such as waving arms or yelling at them.
What Amazon do will only mean many other companies following them.
Yes most of the uses in this list are practical, but this one is purely fun! Broadcasting giant Sky have recently announced a huge $1 million investment into the Drone Racing League. This sport involves drone pilots racing their drones around a course at high speed. Interest has already been declared by Fox Sports and Eurosport!
The agricultural industry is already using drones to monitor farmland, perform analysis on soil and even herd its cattle. The uses of drones could increase in the very near future. In Japan research is being done into the production of insect sized drones that could be used to pollinate plants. Apparently horse hair and a sticky gel can be used to move the pollen from flower to flower!
There is huge potential for drones in the construction industry. One idea, currently in development by the Imperial College London is to equip drones with 3D printers. Remotely controlled, the drone could fly to and construct or repair buildings. Of course drones can and are already being used to inspect buildings.