July 13, 2017
Drones! What are they good for? Absolutely – well, lots of stuff!
Everybody’s talking about drones, drones, drones. For many, however, the word “drone” conjures up something sinister – wasps, an annoying sound, a humanoid assimilated to the Borg – so perhaps the now-ubiquitous little flying robots started off on the wrong foot with their name. Beyond the name, though, after myriad news stories about drones used for spying, taking unauthorized photographs, even dropping bombs, who can blame some of us for feeling a little wary?
But that’s not all there is to a drone! These unmanned aerial vehicles can be used for so much more – racing, photography, even saving lives. Today, let’s look at a few of the wonderful, positive uses for drones.
Drones have been used in all sorts of incredible scientific projects, like mapping our world with speed and accuracy. Drones have been surveying our ecology – from getting into treetops scientists would otherwise have to climb, to checking on endangered animals like Sumatran orangutans, to actively preventing the poaching of endangered animals. They’ve been used to test the make up of the ozone for NASA. And don’t get too creeped out by this, but drones have even been used for weaving tensile structures!
Really Helping People
While we’re all aware of the dangerous things drones can do, did you know they’re also saving lives? Drones are fighting wild fires, decreasing maintenance costs for farmers, and delivering important things – including medicine, clean water, the beach umbrella you just couldn’t wait another day to get, and other first aid supplies. A Dutch student even devised a system to deliver defibrillators to heart attack victims with impressive speed. They’ve been used in reporting on world events like the Arab Spring and on dangerous weather events like typhoons. Drones are perfect for storm chasing (although with drones, the movie “Twister” would have been a lot less exciting).
One of the biggest, best uses of drones? Search and rescue! In fact, we’ve been doing a little search and rescue ourselves. Check out this dangerous mission we sent our drone to complete: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFvr5XXyFzk
And On That Note, Drones Can Also Do Less Serious Things
Hey! Drones can also be fun and more mundanely helpful! They can monitor traffic (and could eventually issue tickets, but let’s not panic about that just yet); play sweet tunes like the Spotify party drone; and deliver delicious pizza, beer, and tacos. They help get the full picture for real estate listings. Frankly, they give geeks like us something to do, which is, arguably, priceless.
Last, but certainly not least, drones can take beautiful photos and capture video of some of the most stunning places in the world. Here’s a little something we put together to give you a taste: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51n0_YGAwXw
That’s not to say drones haven’t been used for some scary things, but, in the end, they’re just a tool – what matters is how you use them.