Send in the drones: How UAVs are changing industries

Five ways drones are changing business 

Look, up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No... it’s an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle!

And we can expect to be seeing a lot of them.

UAV / drone technology has evolved in leaps and bounds in recent years.

The lightweight machines are usually launched, flown and landed by a ‘pilot’ on the ground, although we’re starting to see some automated units too.

In Australia, drone operators require a licence.

Heavy fines apply for those who aren’t certified or who don’t follow the specific rules for this kind of aviation.

Those who do have experience and certification, however, are applying the use of drones to all manner of industries.  

Check out how drones are changing these five industries.

Photography and videography 

Drones are game changers for the photography and video footage industry.

They can provide sweeping bird’s eye views, allowing for majestic drama as well as close detail.

This technology is in high demand for weddings, corporate videos and promotional tourism photography.

Using a drone is unsurprisingly a cheaper option than hiring an entire helicopter crew.

The use of drones has also brought a new dimension to the way photos and videos can be used in marketing.

A prime example comes from the real estate industry, where agents are making the most of these machines to grab buyer attention.

Drones can showcase prestige properties from above and then dip through the front doors to allow a walk-through with a unique perspective.  

Insurance 

When a multi-storey structure is damaged, one of the first things the insurance company needs to do is get an idea of the extent of the disruption.

In the past, this often meant teams of people working in a high risk, elevated environment.

This was expensive, time consuming and challenging.

Now drones are able to get low and close, providing images of the tops of buildings and structures in intricate detail.

Insurance companies are able to potentially save on the cost of personnel and minimise risk.

Building and construction 

Lightweight and agile, drones are a welcome addition to the building industry.

They can provide information from above, surveying new sites and giving progress updates during construction and urban development projects.

Connected drones can send high resolution images to teams on the ground in real time.

Property developers are able to use thermal images taken by drones to assess environmental requirements to try and improve energy efficiency in their structures.

Disaster recovery 

A sweeping flood, rampaging fire, or a raging cyclone can devastate huge areas.

With the help of drones, cameras, and thermal imaging, first response teams can quickly assess damage and seek out those in desperate need of help.

Unmanned drones can reach many places that are too difficult for humans to access.

They can cover much further distances than the teams on the ground, some of them flying for hours without needing to be recharged.

Drones with carrying capacity are also potentially able to deliver much needed supplies and medicine to people who are waiting for help.

Retail

All the above uses are fascinating and revolutionary, but let’s face it… we’re all just waiting for our pizza to reach us via the sky!

Early technology already exists for drone-ified home delivery.

In the USA, retail giant Amazon’s ‘Prime Air’ Project claims to soon be able to drop lightweight goods to a customer’s door (or backyard) within 30 minutes, using automatic drones that don’t even need human pilots.

So where are our drones?

A big problem with an aerial delivery service is that legislation needs to be updated.

Having drones flying around in all directions could be a recipe for disaster; imagine driving along and suddenly having someone’s dinner fall out of the sky onto your windshield!

Governments and aviation authorities around the world are investigating the safe use of drones.

Drones are making themselves very useful, without a doubt.

In the near future we should witness them changing industry landscapes, as well as our daily lives.  

Check out how this startup is using automated drone hives to gather aerial data for a range of industries and services.