With the new surge of technology, and beneficial effects of such technology, drones have gained a lot of attention, and appreciation in this past year. The 21st Century was in need of a new innovation that this cutting-edge technology has helped us to achieve.
Drones came about primarily as military equipment, used for unmanned flights in dangerous areas. They originally became synonymous with anti terror activity in risky tribal areas but now the name association has vastly been altered.
As time has progressed, and the tech has become more affordable, drones have moved into a new market – initially as prototypes and then hitting the mainstream.
For commercial and individual use, drones have become made light weight and easy to use. It is no longer an unreachable high-end product but is now produced by many companies in different shapes and sizes and these smaller drones are now most commonly known as quadcopters.
One of the most effective uses of quadcopters is surveillance.
Not only can a camera be attached to a quadcopters, but live feeds can be transmitted. The quadcopters now carry their own light weight Li-on Batteries that help them stay in the air for longer periods of time. Maneuverability and Ease of use has also become simple for anyone with basic training.
Taking off and Landing is no longer a tricky part, any one with basic remote control skills can manage it. Not only is it being used in surveillance but also to help photographers in capturing images from far and beyond. Photographers have been exploiting the quadcopters for a long time now and the results are commendable, and commercially sensible too. The stable frame of the copter helps the camera keep steady, however, with the advent of stabilisation hardware and software, excellent images previously only available to military and police are now available to the general population.
Special Ready-to-fly (RTF) camera equipped quadcopters are now readily available for sale and are offered in many different varieties and functionalities. The price points have also become in the realms of the home user, enabling genuine mass-market penetration. With the rise off mobile apps, these drones can now be maneuvered by a mobile phone or tablet.
Another use of quadcopters in remote areas is the postal service. Several postal service companies have taken the drone initiative where there will be a drone dropping the packages at home instead of extra personnel employed for the purpose. This lessens the traffic on road and also helps the customers in returning orders.
The drones source of energy has also now been experimented with, instead of just batteries, they also now can be operated with natural sources of energy, like solar energy, or even wind energy. All in all, the environment aspect will likely fuel the continued success of this new technology application.
The top new technology in drones is the micro-sized drones that fit in the palm of your hand. Vijay Kumar, from the University of Pennsylvania, gave a terrific TED talk about these micro flying bots and some of their challenges.
Although it still has a long way to go before they can be called flying robots, because of the lack of decision making power built in them. For now they are just flying frames that can be fitted with a camera or a package, but like all technology, in a constant state of flux, there will be continued advancements!