Drone construction is still a relatively new branch of technology, and for most of their history, drones were treated as novelty items for a niche group of enthusiasts and buyers.

In the past few years, however, thanks to improved design and lowering costs, drones have broken out of their niche status and become a part of several mainstream industries. Let’s take a look at the many ways in which drones are put to use in modern society.

From Military to Civilian Use

Drones were first created for use by the military, where the unmanned aerial machines were great for target practice and surveillance. Naturally, some enterprising minds familiar with the army’s use of drone technology realised that there was a potential market for these machines outside the military.

The very first few drones available on the market for civilians were considered little more than amusing curiosities with little practical use. That is because these early drones were very simple in design and lacked any features that could be applied to practical problems.

As interest in the field of drone technology grew, engineers started coming up with better machines, which could stay in the air for hours at a time and carry increasingly heavy devices on their bodies, from cameras to heat sensors. This is when drones started to be taken seriously by commercial markets, and more and more companies began looking for ways to use the technology to aid them in their work.

Video Recording and Photography

Modern drones come equipped with state of the art cameras and video phones. These devices allow the drone to record the world around them as they fly hundreds of feet above the ground. Photos and videos taken from such drones show some truly spectacular vistas captured by the drones from angles and perspectives that would be impossible to achieve by humans.

The journalism and film industry have been quick to use such drones in their work. Many films today feature drone shots of characters and set pieces from high in the air, giving a suggestion of massive scale for the movie that was difficult to achieve before drones came along.

New media houses are also happy to use drones to arrive quickly at the scene of a breaking news, to investigate areas that have been deemed unsafe for humans, and to cover concerts, game matches and track events from a high vantage point without having to send out reporters into the field.

Shipping and Delivery

You may have heard of Amazon using delivery drones to move their inventory instead of human workers. Since the amount of weight drones can carry is still limited, they cannot be used to deliver the heavier products. But smaller packages are already being delivered by drones over huge distances, and it is only a matter of time before Amazon and its competitors figure out a way to use drone technology to deliver even bigger packages.

Disaster Management

Emergencies always arrive unannounced, and one of the biggest problems with dealing with them occurs when you need to send help quickly to those affected by the emergency, and gather first-hand information about the extent of the damage.

Enter rescue drones. They can navigate the most dangerous areas without putting the life of the rescuers in danger. This makes them ideal for gathering information directly from the scene of the emergency. In addition, rescue drones can be made to carry first-aid supplies to people trapped in the emergency, or simply to allow the victims to converse with the rescuers via a camera and speaker attached to the drone.

Agriculture

Almost two-thirds of commercial drones are used for farming and agriculture. Thanks to drones, farmers can stay in one place and send out their drones to monitor crops, the state of the soil and the possible presence of animals and insects that can damage the crop. No matter how large the farming area may be, it can be kept an eye on with the use of a singe drone.

Safety Inspections

Industries of every kind depend on all kinds of physical infrastructure to function smoothly. From buildings to machines to transportation, every aspect of the infrastructure needs to be in sound working condition, and any failures or break-downs need to be addressed as soon as possible.

With drone inspections, the safety inspector holds an invaluable tool to carry out regular inspections of infrastructure, no matter how inaccessible parts of the building or machines might be. No human lives need be risked carrying out inspections in potentially dangerous areas, since the drone can simply fly into those areas and record all the information to relay back to the inspector in his office.

Surveillance

If you thought security cameras fixed to walls were effective, wait till you see surveillance drones! Not only can they spot and record everything that occurs in an area, but they also have the capability to follow suspicious activity from one area to another. In fact, surveillance drones are so good at what they do, they have started a fierce debate on how widely they may be used while still allowing ordinary citizens to retain their privacy.

Having Fun

And now we circle back to what made drones popular with the non-military population in the first place: they’re really cool! People used to think buying a toy airplane or a kite was the best way to play with the laws of aerodynamics, but the drone does that, and so much more! Thanks to the varied number of devices that can be attached to drones, enthusiasts are constantly coming up with new ways to have fun with drone technology, and create increasingly more sophisticated flying recorders, carriers, sensors and anything else the mind can conjure up.