Top 8 uses of drones

Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are the next generation tech in the present world. These machines have picked up momentum recently and now people are using drones for all sorts of applications. With the entry level investment in drones now reduced to under a lac with introduction of XIRO XPLORER. Here is our pick of 8 best uses of drones:

1) Aerial Photography
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Aerial photography with drones has become very popular. The conventional way of taking photos and videos from up above was by hiring a helicopter and carrying heavy cameras on it. Then a hell lot of post production was required to eliminate the vibrations and sway in the video. With drones, all that goes away. The total cost of hiring a drone operator is around a lac per day, depending on what sort of camera you want to use for the shoot. These intelligent systems are equipped with special gimbals which eliminate the vibration while shooting the video and also keep the video stable irrespective to motion of the drone. This reduces time, effort and is also pretty cheap. All Bollywood movies now hire aerial photographers for aerial shots for films.

2) Pesticide spraying
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Farmers are now started using drones for spraying pesticides on crops. Drones can lift around 15ltrs of pesticide at one time and can cover a pretty large area in one go. This makes it easy for the farmer as he just has to program the drone and let it fly over the field in pre-defined patterns to cover maximum area with the pesticide. This is turning out to be very efficient and quick way of spraying pesticides and also safe as the farmer does not inhale the toxic fumes. In India, as individual farms are small and use of drones is useless there, many companies have equipped themselves with drones. A group of farmers then get together and rent a drone from these companies and spray their field together.

3) Spotting Wildfires Before They Start
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Wildfires can be a very dangerous problem once they get started, so it’s important to do everything in our power to prevent them. The trouble is that it’s pretty hard to spot a forest fire before it’s grown into a size that’s hard to put out. Infrared cameras have always been a possibility, but the trouble is that until now they haven’t been feasible, since manned aircraft are expensive to fly and their velocity is too great for someone to be able to get a good image of an area. However, as NASA has discovered, with the adoption of UAVs monitoring for wildfires can be made much simpler and more efficient. Using two drones, one of which is equipped with an infrared camera, Michael Logan, who is head of NASA’s Langley unmanned aerial vehicle lab, has created a system that should make spotting wild fires in their early stages much easier. The advantage of drones is that they can fly at lower altitudes and at much slower speeds, allowing them to get a clear image of fire-prone areas.

4) Crop health monitoring
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The process of crop health monitoring can be extremely difficult for any agriculture expert, analyst or farmer. With the help of today’s technology the process of agricultural monitoring and crop health monitoring has become much easier however. Precision drones are now being used for aerial imaging which aids with crop health management. When it comes to agricultural drones there are only a few choices for qualified drone pilots that have agricultural experience. Using special cameras fitted on drones the health of the crop can be analysed. The spots where more attention is required can be identified. This helps in taking preventive measures before it is too late to save the crop.

5) Advertising or marketing
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With competition at it’s peak in the market, every company want’s to adopt a marketing strategy which will keep it ahead from it’s competitors. To grab some eyeballs, the marketing firms have now started using drones. Straight from the basic banner flying to dropping pamphlets through drones or even freebies is the new age marketing gimmick. Marketing firms are now purchasing customized drones which are specifically designed for these applications.

6) Tracking Disease Spread Patterns
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Over on Cell.com , there’s a very interesting paper detailing how drones are being used to detect patterns in the spreading of a new malaria strain. With plenty of deforestation going on, the habits of the mosquitoes changes along with their habitat, which means their victims also change. To track how changes in the map of the area affect infection patterns, scientists have been successfully employing drones. The role of the drone is to frequently map out the area so that any recent changes can be taken into account. Being aware of these changes, the doctors can compare them to patient records to see how they affect disease spread patterns. The relevance of a drone in this case is that it can be programmed to perform these tasks automatically and in this rid health care workers of the duty and danger of having to personally map everything.

7) Deliveries through drones
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The most talked about topic of 2014, delivery drones. With the announcement of Amazon’s Prime Air, the whole concept of flying robots delivering goods at the door step came to reality. The idea that drones will deliver the goods you ordered just hours ago is pretty energizing. After Amazon, Flipkart also announced that it is also working on a drone network to deliver goods. We have to wait for the government to give approval to these companies to kick their drone delivery systems in action.

8) Distribution of internet
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This is our personal favourite. Drones are the best way of distribution of internet to remote areas. Facebook has revealed its first full-scale drone, which it plans to use to provide internet access in remote parts of the world. Code-named “Aquila”, the solar-powered drone will be able to fly without landing for three months at a time, using a laser to beam data to a base station on the ground. The company plans to use a linked network of the drones to provide internet access to large rural areas. However, as with its Internet.org project, Facebook will not be dealing with customers directly, instead partnering with local ISPs to offer the services. This is a leap forward and once fully functional, this will definitely help increase the reach of internet.

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