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Eyes in the Sky: Drone Technology

It’s interesting to see how today’s culture evolves to embrace robots, droids, and DRONES.

Drones used to be a figment of science fiction. It’s something we see in the 90s Sci-Fi movies which we thought, if it’ll ever happen, it’ll be way into the future and now it’s slowly making its way into the public’s consciousness. Ever since their introduction from purely Government’s use in military conflicts, into today’s “consumer phase” to the future’s “commercial phase”, it looks like the Drone technology Industry is heading towards the same path as tablets and smartphones which in its early stage, no one could have predicted to have a global impact on communication, business operations, and worldwide convenience.

As technology advances, drones will likely become an increasingly significant part of our daily lives. Drones can fly to places where humans cannot reach and capture amazing footage, but that’s far from the limit of their amazing abilities. It seems that people cannot stop looking for new ways to make good use of this aerial unmanned vehicle.

The drone’s video capabilities and simple flight interfaces made them fun, accessible, and useful especially for photographers and the media which made it a hit in the consumer phase. It’s impressive, the kind of aerial photography that anyone with a drone can access. And recently, it has become a tool for different purposes. Drones are now delving into a mainstream business like real estate, precision agriculture, oil and gas, construction, and many other domains and their primary use is as an eye in the sky. It’s made quite progress from just being a spy over hostile territories. Today, Drone racing is the up-and-coming form of entertainment. A new delivery system is being devised to make use of this aerial device which could result in faster delivery and minimal human involvement. And because civil security is paramount, microdrones are being used as a cost-effective and successful alternative for aerial surveillance, traffic monitoring, anti-terrorist operations, and the like.

Over three years, much more anticipated use of drones is coming. According to Chris Anderson, founder, and CEO of 3D Robotics, Soon, further advances in exponential technologies will create a tipping point for drone technology, making them smart, cheap, scalable, and ultimately ubiquitous.

Here is a list of the future Drone-Technology Breakthroughs:

  1. Drones are increasingly based on cutting-edge smartphone technology (Qualcomm Snapdragon platform).

  2. Computer vision, sense-and-avoid, and optical tracking have become standard in consumer drones.

  3. Major software companies integrate drone data into core offerings, taking “reality capture” mainstream.

  4. 4. Drones surpass satellites in the amount of data gathered and used.

  5. Drones have become like Wi-Fi.

Just as Drones are proving their useful worth to every kind of industry, it has also been laden with negative feedbacks. Because of the early mass adoption of use of the drone, technology enthusiasts are having second thoughts about this airborne vehicle.

The costs of production for Drones are expected to continue to fall rapidly as it is becoming more and more popular. But, as it is becoming cheap and readily available, it would be easier for criminals to do harmful and dangerous acts. Not to mention malicious and negligent people that may have access to drones and use if incautiously. It also imposes a threat to an individual’s privacy and infringing data protection as it is far more invasive than CCTV.

Though the U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has enforced rules or standing guidelines with the use of commercial drones, they don’t have directly enforceable laws. They also don’t have the resources to enforce it to all users who breach the rules they provided. Moreover, there is still an ongoing debate as to who is legally responsible if drones cause damage or injuries.

The Drone market is still an unchartered territory but its growing presence in everyday life is an example of its increasing popularity, importance as well as great technological advances. The commercial drone market alone is expected to be worth the US $36.9 billion by 2022 according to RNR Market Research.


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