Since the whole debate surrounding the legislation of drones are still up in the air (see what we did there?) we thought we'd delve a bit deeper into the various uses of them. There are so many positive things that can come from developing these little gadgets, that we've had to cut the list to our top 9 uses - let us know in the comments below if you have any other concepts or ideas for quadcopters in South Africa!
A farmer’s day can be a very busy one with checking crops, animals, water levels, irrigation systems etc. A drone can make their lives just a little bit easier with the option of sending the gadget out into the fields to check the various points with the extra comfort of staying in one spot. They can even check the health of plants by using infrared technology and cut a farmer’s daily rounds to a minimum.
The introduction of 3D printers and choreographing technology to construct a project have open an array of possibilities with drones as well. A team of researchers at ETH Zurich recently programmed drones to build and weave tensile structures. While the test was relatively simple, the idea of choreographing drones to act as aerial construction workers is pretty fascinating. Construction companies are also using drones to check scaffolding and weak points in very tall structures.
Sell Real Estate
The real estate industry is soaking up the idea of using drones to offer its clients an aerial view of properties. It’s even being used for capturing a unique view inside buildings and homes as the drone is navigated through halls and around corners. The option of using it for scoping land for construction is also available.
Make Sports (and Other Events) Look Cool
Since drones were kind of introduced commercially alongside the GoPro brand (where you can attach your GoPro camera to a quadcopter); it has been used to capture some insane footage of adventures and sports. You might have spotted the technology at the Olympics and the Soccer World Cup in Brazil. This can also help coaches and managers enhance play tactics and view their players in a different light.
Police Departments in America are jumping on the bandwagon and buying drones for surveillance reasons. Here’s what we would like to see – imagine you have a drone in your house, which autonomously takes flight every hour to survey the property or gets sent out when someone trips the alarm. We wouldn’t mind seeing a drone dropping a bucket of water on intruders either – just saying.
They're also being used to monitor populations of animals in the wild, especially endangered ones. A team of Indonesian scientists, for instance, have been using drones to keep track of a population of endangered Sumatran orangutans by floating above the treetops and watching how the apes are dealing with deforestation. Many South Africans are also turning to quadcopters for assisting with preventing rhino poaching.
Amazon is planning on delivering purchases with drones. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says, "It will work and it will happen, and it's gonna be a lot of fun."
A graduate student from Austria recently took that medicine example to the next level. Stefen Riegebauer devised a system whereby drones could deliver defibrillators to heart attack victims much faster than it would take an ambulance to get there. It's kind of out there and far from implementation, but the idea of drone-based EMTs is interesting.
Provide Internet (this one is our favourite)
In March 2014, social media behemoth Facebook purchased Ascenta, a solar-powered drone company based in the United Kingdom. Mark Zuckerberg, the company's chief executive, has championed an initiative that aims to extend the reach of Internet connectivity across the entire planet.
In April 2014, Google purchased its own solar-powered drone company: Titan Aerospace. The company designs ultra-lightweight, solar-powered planes that fly high above commercial air traffic and can remain aloft for up to five years. While Google has not made its plans public, tech commentators say Titan Aerospace's drones will likely be used to bring Internet access to parts of the planet without reliable access to the Web (that’s us folks)
Let us know of any other uses you've encountered or even thought of for drones in South Africa!