Future Drone Technology and Applications

What's Next for Drone Deliveries?

February 06, 2017




The first modern unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, were created for the military for reconnaissance. They could also be used to provide attack and supply capability for high-risk missions or fly decoy missions to get the opposing force to waste expensive anti-aircraft missiles.


Predator Drone



With the arrival of quadcopters, cameras and artificial intelligence software, drones became less likely to crash which made them more appealing to industry and consumers.


Quadcopter Drone


Today’s drones are more versatile. They can also travel along the ground, stick to the side of a building, and dive under water. Some can even take off vertically like a helicopter and then fly like a plane for speed and maneuverability.



How are drones being used today?


  • Real estate photography
  • Architecture and construction
  • Film Industry
  • Recreation
  • Sport - drone racing
  • Marketing drones like seen in Superbowl 51



What are the pros and cons of drones?



  • It can provide unprecedented views
  • Easy to fly – does not require lengthy training
  • Can go in areas unsafe for humans
  • Can go in areas inaccessible to humans
  • Can be used in swarms to cover wide areas
  • Can provide emergency supplies to remote areas






  • They are noisy
  • They can be intrusive
  • Short battery life/flight time
  • They can crash from mechanical failure, operator error, a dead battery or lost signal--and cause damage or injury.
  • Can interfere with birds, passenger jets and emergency aircraft
  • Difficult to regulate due to many shapes and sizes




How might drones be used in the future?


  • Delivery of retail products, food, medical/emergency needs, especially in remote areas
  • Agricultural – herder drones, insect and bird detering drones, soil analysis
  • Forest fire monitoring
  • Drones to watch over protected species/areas
  • Civil incident monitoring – A drone could be sent up by first responders to access the situation.
  • Provide internet in remote areas
  • Monitor air quality
  • Replace helicopter for news, inspecting pipeline and roads, law enforcement




Not so fast


As commercial and consumer drones become less expensive and more reliable, they will be used in many applications that have not even been thought of yet. But, keep your feet on the ground. Drone pizza delivery might make sense in New Zealand, where the distances can make any delivery guy look like Frodo on a fiery mountain. Whereas, drone-delivered slices in a trendy Manhattan restaurant are a gimmick, not a better solution.




Cleared for landing


Governments guard their air space dutifully, for obvious military and safety reasons. In many countries, regulations for a variety of drones have already in place. In the United States, all drones over .55 pounds must registered with the FAA.


Whether or not commercial and consumer drones will be accepted for use in public areas is still up in the air. The two biggest obstacles are the noise and the camera. Another problem is that they can be knocked out of the air with an accurately thrown walnut.


Will drones have a place in the future? The chances are good--in niche applications that keep them away from water hoses and angry old men.




Funny, cool and other drone videos under 4 minutes


Unmanned aerial vehicle - Wikipedia


Micro air vehicle - Wikipedia


DroneSentry jamming system - New Atlas


Drones hunt down rare plants in Hawaii by going where people can't - The Verge


It's the future: Small prairie village pins economic fortunes on drones - CBC


China just flew a 130-foot, solar-powered drone designed to stay in the air for months - PopSci


Amazon's drone deliveries could include shipping label parachutes - Engadget


The Drone Industry: Thoughts From an Outsider - Entreprenuer


Drone looks out of this world on test flight - Asahi


Man takes drone out for a sunset flight, drone gets shot down - ArsTechnica


9 brilliant ways drones can help tackle the world's biggest problems - Mashable


Drones Go to Work - Harvard Business Review


Do I Need to Register My Drone? Check This List - Wired


The Future of Drones: Uncertain, Promising and Pretty Awesome - Live Science


IN PICTURES: 15 current and future uses for drones - Computer World


The future of drones - National Rural Electric Cooperative Association


How Can Drones Make Less Noise? - Quadcopter Cloud


7 Cool Commercial Drone Uses Coming to a Sky Near You - Business News Daily


The Future of Drones - Rotor Drone Magazine


Drones and Robots: Revolutionizing Farms of the Future - Geospatial Media and Communications


Lady Gaga’s Halftime Show Drones Have a Bright Future - Wired


A look at the future world of drones - Daily Mail


These Drones Have A Flair For Flares - GE


Four Reasons Why Drones, Not Driverless Cars, Are The Future Of Autonomous Navigation - Forbes


192 Future Uses for Flying Drones - Futurist Speaker


How Did Drones Get Their Name? - Quadcopter Cloud


Why Talk To Drones Over Radio When You Can Use Lasers? - Popular Mechanics


Drones are the future for deliveries - EFTM


Government initiative gives Google the go-ahead to test delivery drones in the US - New Atlas


Amazon has bold and bright ideas for delivery rest stops for drones - TechXplore


A drone that flies (almost) like a bird - EPFL


Watch Air Swirl Around a Quadcopter Drone’s Rotors - Wired


Droneboarding takes off in Latvia - Phys.org


NOVAerial's helicopter drones: Better than multicopters? - New Atlas


This medicine-toting drone flew where no one thought it could - CNET


Top 5 HUMAN TRANSPORT Drones - Youtube (12:06)


5 Most Unique Drones Available Now - Youtube (11:58)


5 Most Unique Drones Available Now - Youtube (11:58)


Racing drones at 100 MPH in the Las Vegas Drone Rodeo - Youtube (3:38)


Go Inside the World's First $1 Million Drone Race - Youtube (6:16)


The astounding athletic power of quadcopters | Raffaello D'Andrea TED - Youtube (16:08)


Hands-On with DJI Mavic Foldable Quadcopter Drone! - Youtube (13:48)





Image credits


Image by tpsdave from Pixabay

Image from Pixabay

Predator drone via Wikimedia Commons

Radio-controlled drone via Wikimedia Commons





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