You’ve probably seen drones popping up all over the place. The stunning drone swarm display at the Super Bowl was a recent example of their uses in the entertainment industry, and the shipping industry is toying with the idea of drone delivery (Amazon is already using them to deliver packages). And of course, you’ve heard of the military using them for tactical operations.
Outside of the obvious, in-your-face uses for drones you see in the news, loads of other industries are taking to the skies for a wide variety of things. Drones are no longer just a specialty, they’re becoming the standard for plenty of commercial processes.
Drones can offer a gorgeous view of a property that you just can’t get from traditional photography. These days, realtors hire drone pilots to capture stunning property-wide images and video of homes and commercial buildings in order to help market and sell them. While pretty simple in some cases, the imagery is really powerful.
There are a few types of drones, and while many people picture a quadcopter-style drone when they think of them, it’s easy to forget that some of them are more like model airplanes. These types of drones are used to measure large areas of field, spread pesticides and fertilizer, and help farmers see what areas of their property need attention with detailed video and images.
Mining operations typically happen over a large area of land. Drones can help by measuring stockpiles, which might be spread out across hundreds of acres of land. This gives supervisors insight into which stockpiles are full, which have space, and which might be nearing capacity.
We’re a long way from drones actually being able to hammer together the frame of a house, but drones are being used for a handful of construction operations. In many instances, it’s useful for a general contractor to have video and images of a lot before sub-contractors begin their bids. Drone footage can give them a clear idea of the needs of the project, without the sub-contractor even needing to visit.
Further, many roofing contractors are using drones to inspect rooftops for damage after a storm, fire, or other such events. This lets them take detailed imagery of damage and materials, get measurements, and create an estimate in just a few minutes, all without ladders, harnesses, and the risks that go with them.
Similar to construction, drones are being used by insurance inspectors to gather data about roof following a damage claim. With autonomous drones for insurance, inspectors can get dozens of high-resolution images of areas of damage within just a few minutes. Best of all, some solutions are built with image-management workflows to make viewing, sorting, sharing, and annotating images simple.
Drones are becoming standard in a number of industries, but what does the future hold? Uber recently announced plans for an autonomous airplane taxi that would take customers wherever they need to go—all by itself. Meanwhile, the military is testing the viability of drone swarms for aerial combat, and small bee-like drones are being developed to help pollinate flowers as bee populations start to decrease. Drones are here, and they’ll continue doing some fascinating things for industries worldwide.
Keep your eyes on our blog for all the latest in drone tech across a variety of industries.