Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), flying robots, miniature pilotless aircraft—or simply known as drones—have become essential tools across multiple industries over the years. Most people have come to know drones as a sophisticated tool for photography, but there is so much more that UAVs accomplish than just taking cool aerial shots.
In this article, we talk about some of the best applications of UAVs across different industries and sectors, including agriculture, construction, and emergency response.
1. Multiple agricultural applications
Drones in agriculture have shown revolutionary effects by providing farmers with huge cost savings, improved efficiency, and higher profitability. Drones allow farmers to survey land quickly, inspect crop health, improve spraying accuracy, and monitor livestock, among many other beneficial functions. As a result, they produce more crops and earn higher profits with less time, money, and effort.
2. Building safety inspections
Inspecting buildings can be a dangerous task, especially if the building in question has multiple known hazards present. Using a UAV to inspect the building instead of sending out a crew puts no human lives at risk and, at the same time, makes building inspection quick and efficient.
The construction industry also uses UAVs to survey potential risks in areas that are too difficult or too dangerous to access by humans. For example, if the problem is a malfunctioning machine that can put people in harm’s way within a certain distance, a drone is a much better and safer alternative.
3. Search and rescue operations
Drones have also become an invaluable tool in search and rescue operations, especially during ongoing emergencies like forest fires and floods. Using a drone to survey the area allows rescuers to find survivors much quicker without putting unnecessary risk on the rescue team. It also helps first responders pinpoint the most strategic points to conduct interventions, such as the best places to start putting out fires or drop supplies.
4. Unmanned cargo transport
Unmanned cargo transport has a huge place in both military drone and commercial drone technologies. It may not be common yet, but the future of drone technology is moving toward unmanned parcel delivery. On the other hand, military drones can drop supplies to military personnel, first responders, survivors, and refugees much more efficiently than traditional means.
5. Law enforcement and surveillance
Compared to static security cameras, UAVs allow law enforcement personnel to monitor large areas with more ease and efficiency. During active chases, police officers can also use UAVs to track suspects in a less obvious manner—as opposed to using helicopters, which can make it easier for suspects to find ways on how to lose the police on their tail.
6. Geographic mapping
UAVs are a revolutionary tool for geographic mapping. In the past, geographers had to spend months to map and survey vast areas. With drones, that process can take as little as a few days to a few weeks.
7. Bird control
Birds are some of the most difficult pests to control when it comes to agriculture. Oftentimes, traditional means are not enough to keep birds off crops, resulting in massive losses in produce and profit.
Luckily, this is another area where UAVs come in handy for farmers. There are autonomous bird control drone devices that scare birds away effectively—all while remaining a hundred percent humane. As a result, farmers can protect their crops more efficiently without putting any animal lives in danger.
There are certain drone models that make it possible for firefighters to see through smoke in order to monitor hotspots and manage ground crew operations, helping save more lives while minimizing harm to firefighters.
9. Real estate photography
Drones have also made a significant impact on the real estate industry, making it easier for sellers and real estate professionals to showcase properties in their entirety. On the other hand, drone photography also benefits home buyers by allowing them to see accurate imagery of the property they want to buy, making the use of drones a win-win situation for everyone.
10. Marine rescue
Compared to on-ground rescue, marine rescue can oftentimes be a hundred times more difficult. There are vast amounts of water to cover, and the ocean predicts too unpredictably to make all rescues a hundred percent effective. UAVs help solve this problem by covering large areas quickly, allowing rescuers to find survivors faster than regular aircraft (wherein pilots may have a difficult time spotting people from too high up).
As you can see, there are multitudes of problems that UAVs help solve. With how fast drone technology is developing, we can only expect more applications of UAVs across almost every industry known to man.