Everyone can agree, it doesn't feel like long ago that drones were seen as 'far off' technology, only associated with military operations and high-end filmmaking. However, in more recent years, these unmanned aerial vehicles have now become one of the fastest emerging sectors within the consumer tech industry.
Thanks to an ever-improving range of highly functional quadcopter drones, many gadget fans now see a drone purchase as a serious consideration. Drones are finally becoming affordable, as most entry-level models can be found for under £100.
Latest drones have the technology to be able to travel miles from the operator, shoot super-smooth 4k Ultra HD video and even use GPS to travel to a predetermined landmark and return safely to the owner thanks to guidance tech and longer battery lives. Some drones are even able to take selfies of the operator and link with VR headsets to give drone pilots a bird's eye view.
So, how could drones help us in day-to-day life?
Businesses Using Drones
Beyond the consumer realm, more and more businesses are turning to drones. Most notably, Amazon is planning to begin to deliver packages with its Air Prime drones and has already begun trialling this technology throughout Cambridge. With this in mind, they would like to get deliveries to customers within 30 minutes and have recently patented a beehive-like structure where drones could return for restocking.
In New Zealand, Dominos is also trialling pizza deliveries via drone, and on a more serious note, Devon & Cornwall police now has a 24-hour drone unit at its disposal.
Entertainment Using Drones
Drones are also being invested in as a form of entertainment. Broadcasting giants, Sky, have recently announced that they have made a $1 million investment in the Drone Racing League.
This sport sees drone pilots race through high-speed obstacle courses, with various sports channels such as Eurosport and Fox Sports also seeing the potential in this new tech-sport.
Agriculture Using Drones
Drones are also being used in the agriculture industry to help monitor vast farmland, analyse soil samples, and even herd cattle. The uses of drones in the agricultural industry has the potential to expand even more, with researchers even working on insect-sized drones in Japan.
These tiny drones would be able to pollinate plants, using horse hairs and a sticky ionic gel to move pollen between flowers.
Home Security Using Drones
While it's known that drones are used for security purposes, tech companies in the UK are also bringing drones into the home security market, by beta testing their security drone designed to protect your home.
Construction Using Drones
Drones also hold great potential for use in the construction industry, with the market for this technology predicted to be worth in excess of £9 billion in the future.
One innovation, which is in development at Imperial College London, is the creation of drones which are equipped with 3D printers. This remote-controlled equipment will be able to both construct and repair building by printing the needed materials as they fly.
The technological potential that drones present is immense and with technology advancing all the time, the wide variety of uses drones already have could develop even further, with this technology representing the future for many industries.