Aerial Robotics | Unmanned Aerial Systems | Drones
The Worldwide Drone Rush.
Likened to the California Gold Rush the Drone business is about to explode. In the coming decade the skies are destined to become littered with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as drones become more mainstream and embedded in our daily lives. The drones of tomorrow will bare no resemblance to the massive $ Billion pilotless aircraft used by the military. They will be small in size, easily transportable in a backpack and effortlessly deploy-able. Current usage has been well documented and unmanned aerial systems have found favor with Real Estate businesses who are using them to photograph high value properties, farmers and wine growers who are using them to monitor crops in what has been dubbed ‘Precision Agriculture’. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) are pushing for legislation to be speeded up so this new industry can flourish. The Federal Aviation Administration has said that they expect there to be 7,500 commercial drones in operation by 2018. I’m not sure what planet their researchers are from or how they arrive at these figures but they are way short of the mark. If you look at the number of Photography and Media businesses that are already offering Aerial Photography (whether this is legal or not remains to be resolved) then you will have some idea of how widespread drone usage will be in this sector alone. Safety and Privacy issues are often cited as the most prominent factors that are holding the industry back. As far as safety is concerned rapid developments in obstacle avoidance technology and algorithms that enable Quadcopters (multi-rotors with 4 propellers) to safely land using one propeller will make the UAV’s of tomorrow far safer than those of today. Heavy investment in Aerial Robotics is on-going by the military and this will filter down to commercial sector. The privacy issue is another matter and something that needs to be addressed so drones are not seen as ‘Spies in the Skies’.
Companies most likely to benefit from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Companies that use traditional aircraft and helicopters to carry out monitoring, surveys, mapping, inspections etc. are likely to experience massive cost savings using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), Drones or Quadcopters. The film industry is another sector that can effectively use unmanned aerial systems to reduce costs and capture unique footage from previously difficult vantage points. Logistics companies that need to delivery product, medicines, and degradable items speedily will take advantage of this new transportation device. Law firms specializing in drone legislation and Aerial Robotic patents will prosper as will insurance companies that offer Unmanned Aerial Vehicles policies.
Individuals who can benefit from UAV’s
Individuals who want to get into this rapidly developing industry can enroll on one of the unmanned aerial vehicle degree courses being offered by Universities in the United States. The UK has lead the way as they are the first country to have a specific civil Unmanned Aerial Systems Pilot Qualification recognized by its National Authority. Jobs adverts are starting to appear for UAV pilots and hobbyist are starting to monetize their favored pastime by renting out their flying skills and UAV experience. If you enjoy the challenge of flying Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and are willing to extensively study Quadcopters, Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles then there will be endless opportunities for you to earn a more than decent living and enjoy yourself in the process.
Drones, it’s only the very beginning
The use of UAV’s with cameras and sensors is only the start of the Aerial Robotic Unmanned Vehicle Revolution. Swarms of autonomous aerial robots will perform tasks that today seem like something taken from a Star Wars film. Science fiction is something it is definitely not, check out Vijay Kumar at Penn or the Flying Machine Arena home to leading researcher Raffaello D’Andrea then you can visualize the future of these fabulous flying machines. Wipe any negative military or invasions of privacy connotations from your mind and you can plainly see how unmanned aerial vehicles will be massively beneficial to mankind.