There have been exciting new developments these past few years in the advancement of drones or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) technology. Drones are capable of highly advanced surveillance and have disrupted aerial photography and opened up consumerism in the fields of agriculture, environmental, and search and rescue emergency operations. .
Drones are revolutionizing the technology industry, they are catalysts of new and advanced technologies that will be superior in flight quality as camera and stabilization features are now becoming part of flight control semiconductors. Qualcomm introduced Snapdragon Flight, a digital signal processor for flight control, with WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and support for different sensors. These new developments will add features to drones, while at the same time reducing the number of components needed to shoot video and increasing ease of control to the drone in flight.
Experimentation on swarm of drones, each armed with a different type of sensor package: Infrared, ultrasonic, even sniffers to monitor pheromones in the environment is well underway.. Utilization in farming and agriculture safety are a target, they can monitor environmental conditions and can be used in security surveillance as well rescue missions. They can monitor closely farming fields and cover hundreds of acres in one flight in order to take a close look at the health of plants, crops in order to help growers determine whether they need water, and to prevent insect infestation or need additional fertilizer. Future uses can be: planting, crop sampling, spraying of pesticides and fertilizer, and maybe someday harvesting. Drones allow the farmers to gather data that they can analyse & utilize to increase their yields.
The industry’s initiation on business applications has been boosted by new Federal Aviation Administration rules, which took effect in August 2016 and paved clear pathway for commercial drone uses, many restrictions still remain. The new rules simplified licensing requirements, making it possible for small companies to operate commercial drones.
Apart from flying robots, businesses are playing with other prospects in software and services that can make aerial imaging useful for industries including insurance, construction, agriculture and entertainment.
3D Robotics shared a new strategy, announcing a camera-equipped drone with imaging software designed for construction companies that will capture 3D images and show the shape, size and volume of items at a construction site.
Companies including Amazon and drone startups like Zipline, are also developing drones for delivery. Amazon has filed several patents around drone technology like docking stations for UAVs to recharge, as well as voice controlled pocket sized drones.
Deployable drones that are small enough to fit in your pocket or purse and can be used to help police in chases, aid fire-fighters in tackling blazes, and even find lost children or rubberneck for someone waiting in line to buy tickets to see how many others are waiting ahead.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will have a built-in software that will allow it to understand commands spoken by a user or controls from an app. The drone will have a microphone and a camera that will allow it to carry out several functions outlined by the patent including:
- Performing a search and rescue mission to find a lost child using the drone’s camera to identify a person’s face or perhaps a barcode printed on the kid’s clothes
- Locating a vehicle when a person can’t find it a parking lot by recognizing trait such as the make, model or color
- In search and rescue missions to find downed airliners, sailors or ships lost at sea
- To check for people trapped in a burning building.
- Following a suspect so that a cop car could cut off the runner.
- Recording stunts or other activities, effectively replacing current helmet cameras.
The idea is that the drone will “act as an assistant for the user” so that users can ask it questions such as “is the dryer still running?”
Popular trend among individuals now is also experimenting to make voice controlled drone themselves. You can speak verbal commands to Amazon Echo to control your drone using AWS IoT. First, Alexa Skills Kit parses voice commands, then Amazon Lambda runs NodeJS code, which uses AWS IoT to talk with Raspberry Pi Ground Station over MQTT. Finally, Ground Station will send the specific command to drone over a radio link.
All in all, those that figure out how to use drones to gain competitive advantage have the chance to get ahead of rivals. Intel is setting standards on creative applications using swarms of drones.