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Game of drones: the unexpected ways drones have changed our lives

Posted by Rudy Mitra on Apr 9, 2019 9:54:59 AM
Rudy Mitra
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Game of drones: the unexpected ways drones have changed our lives

Drones have been around in one form or another since the mid 1800’s, but it’s only in the last decade or so that they’ve become mainstream. So much so that you can choose from a selection of personal drones at your local electronics store.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UASes), as they are often known, are controlled remotely or can fly autonomously using software in combination with sensors and GPS (a great example of the Internet of Things (IoT) at work).

There are a huge number of commercial benefits to drones that we’d have only dreamed of at the turn of the century. Here are some of our favourites.

 

Five great ways drones have changed our lives

  • Military use – used in situations where it is too dangerous to send personnel, the military use drones for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance support for land force operations, as well as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and search and rescue. The Australian Defence Force recently announced its plans to purchase MQ-9 Reapers, which will be their first armed, unmanned drones.
  • Firefighting – drones are incredibly beneficial when it comes to fighting fires, especially those in Australia’s dense bushland. They can access areas that are hard to reach by land, send back live video to the command centre and identify hazardous materials that may exacerbate the fire.
  • Search and rescue operations – just hours after a search drone was unveiled in early 2018 by Surf Lifesaving NSW, it was used to successfully rescue two teenage boys who were caught out in unsafe water. The drone was able to drop a floatation device which the boys could then use to swim back to shore. Time matters when it comes to ocean rescue, so the implementation of drones in this scenario is quite literally a life saver.
  • Delivery services – Amazon was talking about doing it more than five years ago, but Wing (a division of Alphabet, Google’s parent company) has actually been given the green light and has been testing drone delivery in Canberra. Given there are 13,000 disabled and 6,700 elderly people in the region, drone delivery makes accessibility a focal point as well as potentially reducing traffic on the roads.
  • Farming - Often involving huge areas of land and traditionally requiring large families or paid farmhands to keep their property working at capacity; droughts, economic challenges and smaller families mean farming has become much harder even with advances in machinery. Drones are a game-changer for struggling farms. The ability to run thermal imaging, assess crop health, undertake 3D soil mapping, plant seeds, complete spot spraying and pollination tasks via drone saves time and money and gives farmers a clearer picture of the state of their property.

But there are also a few less than savory ways drones are used

  • Paparazzi – The long-standing battle between celebrities and paparazzi is heightened by the use of drones. Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in France, went to the extent of hiring falcons and their handlers to take down drones that threatened to bother their famous guests.
  • Hunting – While drone use during search and rescue operations saves human lives, the opposite occurs for animals when they’re used for hunting. Depending on where you live, there may be laws against using drones for hunting as they are considered to be aircraft. And the question needs to be asked – how skilful is hunting when you have such a clear advantage?
  • Carrying illegal drugs – Drug smugglers have always been creative, but drones are an easier way for them to conduct their highly illegal activity. Mexican cartels are using this technology to send drugs over the US border and it we can only assume this is happening in other countries too.

Imagine what you could do with a spectacular flying machine, that you can control, which will attack your enemies from the air… with fire! Oh wait… that’s Game of Thrones and Dany’s fabulous dragons. Oops… Well, we do love conversations about drones and Game of Thrones, so why not give us a call and we can nerd out together over all the amazing things technology can do.

 

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