Known in military circles as “unmanned aircraft systems”, drones are basically unmanned aircraft that can be operated by remote control, or by onboard computers. They were developed by militaries for, well, military purposes but like other cool pieces of military technology that we now take for granted – like microwaves, duct tape, and the internet itself! – drones are making their way into our everyday lives. Here are some of the ways that drones are being put to use now.
In the UK, Domino’s Pizza has partnered with a tech company to provide home pizza delivery services via drone. Another restaurant in the UK is experimenting with using drones to replace waiters to deliver food to hungry customers – the drone is named the ITray and makes use of IPad software to accomplish its task. A Mexican food delivery drone is also in development that will allow you to track your burritos as they are airdropped by parachute to your location. It’s a small thing, but getting your food delivered on time no matter what the traffic conditions is also a cool thing. There is talk of plans by Amazon to use drones to deliver products right to the door.
There are a number of ways that drones can help increase agricultural productivity. Not only can they be used to survey and map farms, but they can also be used to inspect fences, water supplies, and other farm infrastructure that the farmer would otherwise have to visit in person. A great time and energy saving use of drones on the farm to help identify areas in crops where there is an infestation of pests or some other cause of crop failure, allowing for a targeted application of pesticides. And drones can do a great job of keeping an eye on animals put out to pasture, ensure that animals are not lost or injured.
Media and news coverage
Until recently, the only way to get aerial coverage was by helicopter. Drones make aerial shots of just about anything easy, affordable, and more environmentally responsible. Whether covering traffic, concerts, or other newsworthy events, drones make it easy.
Engineering and architecture
It used to be the case that engineers and architects needed to budget significant amounts to get aerial shots necessary to create 3D renderings of the projects they are developing. With drones, it is now very easy for these professionals to obtain high quality shots at a low cost, greatly enhancing the design options while containing the costs to clients.
Facebook has purchased a drone company as part of Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to bring internet access to the developing world. The plan is to have a fleet of drones, each of which would act as a wireless hotspot, hovering in the air and staying there for a year or more to bring reliable internet access to remote places that would have to wait years for towers to be built.
Drones, like computers, Jeeps and cargo pants, are just one of the many ways that military defense technology developed by companies like Megabite Electronics is having spillover benefits for society as a whole.