Whether we like it or not, drones are fast becoming parts of our lives. This is no surprise. Drones (or UAVs/ RPAs as they are also often called) are smaller, easier to use, more manouverable and cheaper to produce than traditional air crafts.
They can be build, programmed and configured with purpose in mind – from small inspection units, through stable video and other payload carrying UAVs, to delivery and crop spraying aircrafts. They can be used in reaserch, conservation, security and inspection flyovers – they can even deliver blood and medications to accident scenes. All those missions can be flown manually or pre-programmed, so that input from the pilot is kept to minimum.
Drones have become incredibly versatile flying computers and are progressively becoming a vital tool in business.
Videography and Photography
This is still one of the most common uses of drones. With basic knowledge of operating video camera and RC device, it becomes easy to produce stunning photo and video footage that would otherwise require helicopter to shoot. It is important to look at the type of work intended to be produced here – different camera drone will be needed for production of videos for advertising, different one for taking photos at weddings and events and different for Real Estate photography.
This is the one of largest shares of the drone services market, and the clients are not necessarily looking at easthetics here, but accurate representation of the area in graphic form. Different data will require different camera capabilities – for some use LiDAR technology may be required, while for others high resolution camera will suffice. Drone performance, as long as it “does the job” is less material.
There are few distinct areas within farming where drones can be used – one is for pest, crop health, weed identification and monitoring distribution of animals in the location. Thermal camera (FLiR or other) will be frequently used in this application. Another one is crop spraying until recently done by light aircrafts. One more could be delivering small spares and consumables within a farm to perform easy repairs. Again – very different drones will be required for any of them.
Inspection and Safety
With a geo-referenced map, areas and objects can be easily measured and quantified. Difficult to access areas, such as roofs and canopies can be inspected and problems identified before they become irreparable. Incident and accident scenes can be screened fast for insurance purpose. Drones can be programmed to follow subjects and report on their location.
Anyone who works within warehousing or manufacturing industry knows how tedious inventory counts can be. Drones can easilly assist in this by scanning barcodes in occupied pallet spaces or identification of complete and incomplete lots that can then be counted manually.
The list of tasks where drones can be succesfully used is endless. This industry grows every day, with more and more areas being identified. Counting animals in national parks, news reporting, dropping golf balls or confetti? This becomes possible at a price tag of a smart device. Even more expensive, professional solutions involving payload carrying, drone deliveries or crop spraying still come at the fraction of a cost of a helicopter or light aircraft flight.