Drones on the Threshold of Breaking Through Silly Pipe Dreams to Practical Use


Surprising and Unique Ways To Use Drones

Camera drone with gimbal
Camera drone with gimbal (Image by Thomas Ehrhardt from Pixabay).

Although drones have been around for decades, they have become much more widely available in the last few years. The capabilities of drones have also expanded, while some have become smaller, and some have become larger with greater payload capacity.

For years, technology companies have been trying to figure out ways to automate just about everything. With drones cost dropping and production increasing, developers have started finding ways to incorporate drones into automation. In doing so, they’ve come up with quite a few surprising and unique ways to use drones. Although some ideas may never become a reality, all ideas have the potential to transfer knowledge to some other practical and valuable concept.

Ambulance Drones

The Ambulance Drone, developed at a university in the Netherlands, attempts to address a problem that has resulted in the death of many people in acute medical crises, such as cardiac arrest. The goal of the ambulance drone is to arrive at the scene with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) within the first few critical minutes of an emergency when an AED is more effective. The Ambulance Drone has two-way visual and audio capabilities and compartments containing advanced first-aid supplies. Further, a drone with an AED payload can reach a victim quickly and provide advice on how to use the first-aid equipment. The Ambulance Drone can work with the existing ambulance response infrastructure. EMS systems might find ways to develop drone transport capabilities for LUCAS automated CPR devices, AEDs or EpiPens, especially in rural areas where crews need to cover greater distances, or populated areas where traffic jams slow down emergency vehicle responses. As with most drone projects, the initiative currently lacks financial backing, and faces a slew of other challenges, including approval for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights and other flight restrictions.

In 2019, Flirtey received BVLOS approval with its next-generation drone, which was specially designed to carry heavier payloads for longer distances, allowing Flirtey to deliver Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and commercial packages.

 Flirtey has also re-purposed it services to include delivery of COVID-19 testing kits.

Internet Drones

Although the cost is enormous, tech giants have been investing in independent drone technologies for a couple of years with the goal of delivering internet connectivity to nearly the whole world. Some are working towards creating solar-powered drones that can fly upwards of 10 miles in the air to enable internet connections to reach communities below them.

Agriculture Drones

Drones are used in agriculture to map out landscapes and send farmers information such as the condition of crops and a general index of the property. Drones can also be used to precisely apply seeds, fertilizer, and pesticides with the most productive flight paths and without overlap redundancy.

Fishing Drones

Drone fishing is a novel method of fishing. Traditionalists may moan and groan, but drone fishing can bring new enjoyment to catching fish, and also allows the fishing community an improved method to plan where to drop bait in the water. Drone fishing involves securing your line to the drone and dangling the bait and hook from it, then flying the hook and bait to the location where you want the hook to enter the water. The drone can then drop the line right underneath it while it hovers above the surface of the water. Additionally, a drone can be used to explore the surrounding waters without disturbing nearby fish. Naturally, you need to use a drone that’s not susceptible to water damage.

Drone use by the masses may not become a reality, but sophisticated workers and professionals, and semi-pro hobbyists are likely to apply the use of drones with new creative ideas. Not only can drones assist medical teams, delivery companies and professional farmers, and other professional, but drones can help hobbyists take the sport of fishing to the next level, or help do-it-yourselfers, such as farmers, provide their own security of their property. Some people have even used drones to destroy Bald-Faced Hornet nests.

Drones are used by police to find criminals or missing persons, security personnel to monitor and protect property, construction workers to aid with inspection for construction and maintenance, conservationist to monitor wildlife and vegetation, and real estate professionals to promote properties. Drone use is also on the verge of common use by companies involved in delivery of products and food. An unidentified object flying over Arlington Heights in November 2020 still hasn’t been identified, but it was likely a large drone capable of carrying a payload.

CNBC reported Amazon gained FAA approval for Prime Air drone delivery fleet in August 2020, but trouble in the Prime Air drone division was reported by The New York Post in August 2021.



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