Ten Ways Drone Technology is Shaping Our Future

Essay, 2015

10 Pages




10. Package Delivery

9. Oil and Gas Monitoring and Exploration

8. Disaster Response

7. Marketing/ Advertising

6. Agriculture and Farming

5. Smart Homes

4. Entertainment

3. Discovery & Science

2. Media & News Reporting

1. Sports and Gaming



The Department of Transportation recently announced that it intends to impose a registration system for drones (LINK 1). Drones (scientific name unmanned aerial vehicles) are aircrafts that do not need a human pilot on board. Their flight is monitored remotely from the ground or via computers embedded on the vehicle. Previously restricted to military operations, these vehicles are increasingly finding applications in the civilian world—firefighting, policing, commerce, research and monitoring etc.

According to the secretary, registration will stress the need for drone operators and hobbyists to observe safe flight practices and apply airspace rules (LINK 2). This announcement is a clear indication of just how profound drones are influencing and will continue to impact our lives. In this article, I present ten ways through which drones are shaping our future.

10. Package Delivery

Flying drones are already disrupting the delivery industry. Countless commercial enterprises use drones to deliver drugstore items, groceries, and other small packages to residential homes (LINK 3). The process follows a routine in which a customer places an order online, and the delivery package is automatically loaded up onto the drone using a ‘portable warehouse’ that is typically made from a transformed cargo container (LINK 4). This is usually placed in any convenient location such as a shopping mall or a parking lot. The drone then departs on the sidewalks and delivers the package to the given location.

Ideally, the customer is able to track the drone’s movement via an app, which also serves as a key for opening up the vehicle and taking delivery of the package (LINK 5). Delivery drones can transport up to about forty pounds of weight and uses high-resolution maps of a distribution zone. They are fitted with a radar and camera for navigation and theft prevention, since GPS lacks sufficient accuracy to maintain the robots path on the sidewalk. For human interaction, they contains built in microphones and speakers. According to estimates, United Parcel Service already delivers more than four billion documents and packages annually (LINK 6), thus application of autonomous drones to this industry is significantly disruptive. Futuristically, customers could test a product, decide not to accept it and send it back on the drone for free. This application is cheap, environmentally friendly, safe and quick.

9. Oil and Gas Monitoring and Exploration

Drones are set to become the next big thing in the oil and gas industry. Already in use for remote arctic waters explorations (LINK 7), their applications range from searching new petrochemical reserves to monitoring the safety of oil and gas sites. So far, a number of oil companies have announced plans to employ mil-tech drones for oil and gas monitoring and exploration (LINK 8). These remote controlled devices are flown over sea and land scanning surfaces using onboard data collection tools? No.

Most firms in the oil and gas business are using them to conduct environmental and climate surveys in order to operate more efficiently and safely in the Arctic’s extreme conditions (LINK 9). Such usage also includes inspecting, detecting and locating leaks or spills by flying drones over oil rigs and gas pipelines. Unmanned aerial vehicles valuably reduce operational risks and costs while improving efficiency in oil and gas industry as they can be used to measure oil spills, establish the flow of oil in water and send feedback in form of data and imagery to the control center (LINK 10). Besides, infrared imaging capacities enable drones to detect invisible leaks using specialized sensors.

8. Disaster Response

Drones have become handy in managing disasters. They are well-suited for disaster recovery due to the benefit of cost, speed, reach and safety. Globally, humanitarian organizations are harnessing the technological capacity of drones in delivery of relief items to calamity-stricken areas (LINK 11). In absence of power, these cars can fly through darkness, capture and transmit live night-vision recording to ground stations. Current areas of application include the assessing weather data to assist in climate adaptation and mitigation, monitoring sporting events like marathons to locate injuries, quick dispatching of medical items to required locations, and effective delivery of crucial first aid supplies (LINK 11).

Unlike noisy manned helicopters, drones are stealthy and can enter dangerous locations such as smoky wildfires to capture images and transmit them to monitoring towers. This makes them fit for tracking lost casualties during disasters—avalanche, forest fires, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes (LINK 12). These lifesavers can help multiple recovery efforts simultaneously. When disaster occurs, scientists anticipate these technologies can assist in rescuing survivors, recovery and rebuilding.


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Ten Ways Drone Technology is Shaping Our Future
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drones, technology, future technology, drone delivery, amazon drones, game of drones, home automation, applications of drones
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David Williams (Author), 2015, Ten Ways Drone Technology is Shaping Our Future, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/311168


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