Tuesday, 31 December 2013

What is a Drone?

Drones are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) and are an aircraft that has no human pilot on board. Instead they are remotely controlled from the ground by an operator, or in some cases by the use of an automatic computer system.

Drones are available in a wide array of shapes, sizes and configurations and a sample of common drones can be seen below:

Applications for drones have until recently been mostly in the areas of military and special operations. However, growing civil and commercial applications already include:

 Wildfire mapping
 Search and rescue operations
Aerial surveying of crops
Livestock monitoring
Pipeline security
Delivering medical supplies to hard-to-reach areas
Geophysical surveys for oil, gas and minerals
Aerial footage in filmmaking 

As countries around the world begin to loosen their restrictions on personal and commercial drone flights it is very likely that we will begin to see companies such as Amazon, Dominos and Zookal offering delivery of their products via drones. This may take the form of a delivery to your home or workplace, or alternatively items may be delivered directly to your phones location based on GPS.

In the US an important step towards providing the green light for commercial drones was taken on the 30th December 2013 when the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) announced that it had selected six research sites to help it test and map out the best way to bring unmanned aircraft into the heavily used American airspace. If the projected timescale is met, then privately operated unmanned aircraft could be in commercial use in the US as soon as 2015.

FlightBots.com - for the latest global news on friendly drones.

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