Until recently, drones had been viewed primarily as either weapons or toys — something to either not be trusted or not be taken seriously. But the industry is rapidly changing and today we continue to see an increasing number of valuable uses for drones in both business and personal life.
The practical uses for drones are now front and center in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, as social distancing and stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are opening up more and more uses for drones.
Here are some that we’ve seen. What other uses have you imagined?
1. Locate a roaming teenager who should be home, by drone.
China is using “talking drones” to warn citizens and encourage compliance with wearing masks and staying indoors. See how fast this child runs home when warned by talking drone! . Imagine finding Junior and shouting in the voice of his mom, “come home now!” all by drone. (Works on Grandma, too!)
2. Disinfect an entire hospital, by drone.
Drones are being used in China and India to spray disinfectant and sanitize hospitals and other public spaces. See it in action here.
3. Detect the virus, by drone.
Pandemic Drones use temperature sensors and computer vision to identify symptoms of infections respiratory diseases. The University of South Australia teamed up with Draganfly, Inc to develop them. They can remotely monitor temperature and heart and respiratory rate. And they can detect coughing and sneezing at up to nearly 11 yards.
4. Deliver emergency medical supplies and samples, by drone.
WakeMed hospital campus in Raleigh North Carolina is the first FAA approval for regular commercial flights of drones carrying products. WakeMed partnered with UPS and drone company Matternet to deliver samples between buildings. Expanded approvals for this type of flight could help with getting faster results and getting emergency medical supplies to where they are needed more quickly.
5. Take virtual tours to pass the time, courtesy of a drone.
More time at home may mean more time on your hands. If you went through all your board and card games in week one, what do for the rest of the time while we are sheltering at home? Visit your favorite spots, or places you’ve always wanted to go, virtually, by drone. Check out this tour of the Grand Canyon, No one would think to travel to New York City right now, but you can explore NYC by drone. And, by the way—whatever happened to Notre Dame in Paris, after the fire? You can check-in on that by drone video, too.
6. Deliver warm meals to doorsteps in record time, by drone.
With a professional drone operator on your team, warm meals can be delivered to people’s doors in record time. Already restaurants are closed for dine-in eating. And even for delivery, elaborate measures are being taken to avoid direct contact. This use is already approved for commercial use in China. It’s a great way to minimize the risk of exposure for both customers and deliver drivers. (That might be a little better for the meal than this throwing technique.)
7. Locate a lost pet by drone.
Cover more ground more quickly by having a drone operator help in your search and rescue efforts. This way, even searching in secluded areas will be far more efficient as compared to traditional methods. Here’s how one search was assisted in Canada.(Spoiler alert—they did not find the dog that day.)
8. Look over your property, by drone.
Need to inspect how your roof is doing? With a professional drone operator, this can be done much more cost-effectively. Now if there only was a drone to mow the lawn.
RBS Drone Technologies has temporarily paused our in-person training for both the FAA Part 107 licensing preparation and hands-on training, in the face of the Coronavirus stay-at-home orders. However we are available for your questions! Give us a call at 888.316.8889 or send us a note. We’d love to hear from you to get you ready to train in the future.
Photo credit: WakeMed Heath & Hospitals drone (Photo: NCDOT)