Evolution of drone technology
Evolution of drone technology

Let’s cut to the main question. What biggest technological advantage you have hit with the advent of a drone technology that is available to everyone? With drones, you can get your eyes in the sky, and together with VR technology, you can experience the world through the eyes of a bird. It is a purely visual sensation, but strong enough to take you away from your body.

Before drone technology, the only thing that could leave your body was your imagination, and now your eyes too. That’s a giant leap because imagination wasn’t real enough, but what an HD camera can show you through the window of an immersive virtual reality headset is completely breathtaking. It is a way better experience than playing a first shooter game.

Evolution of Drone Technology

Intel Takes the Cover Off Aero, Quadcopter Drone

As “consumer drones” are evolving, they are molding according to your needs. Like smartphones, the drones are becoming compact, foldable, lighter, and faster as well. As the developments are taking place at a rapid pace, people have happily invited the drone technology to record their adventures. Applications of camera drones and other drones will diversify with their ability to do more. So let’s see in how many ways are they evolving.

Drones are becoming faster with each new generation

“Teal Drone” is the world’s fastest at reportedly 85mph. It was created by 18-year old George Matus, who later went on to become founder and CEO of Teal Drones, Inc. Such drones can be used in disaster response to report on and access hard to get parts of buildings, complex, or places where cameraman cannot go. On the fun side, drone racing is emerging as a new sport, and in future, fast drones will become a distinct industry in the market.

Drone Technology is morphing into exotic shapes and functions

Looking at most of the consumer drones you generally think that they have to be quadcopters. That’s because it is a safe and more flexible design. Large tech companies like Intel prefer to stay in the safe zone, radical changes in the design mean either a lot of risks or a lot of investment. That’s exactly why the current drone market is dominated by quadcopters.

Thanks to their innovative mindset, some startups are willing to go beyond that and Parrot drones are a good example of this vision. Parrot is a winged drone with only one propeller on its back to rocket it forward, which also makes it very speediest next to Teal. As dones are morphing, they are becoming more exotic and getting new labels. ARV (Unmanned Aerial Rescue Vehicle), are essentially unmanned helicopters powerful enough to lift human weight in rescue missions.

Drones are becoming more intelligent

food delivery drone 7 eleven
7 Eleven food chain is currently experimenting with delivery drones.

Not everything is remote controlled. It is amazing that drone technology has accomplished well-furnished AI software that enables them to perform feats like self-balancing and auto-piloting. They can accurately track the moving targets with a camera, avoiding collisions at the same time. You can just throw a drone in the air and tell it to record everything from above, and that’s exactly what you will get.

It makes sense why drones have a more efficient tracking and anti-collision logics than cars while self-driving car technology has been in the making for so long. The air is open with lesser obstacles and their AI can make smarter decisions with limited sensors and brain (chip) power. Roads, on the other hand, are tricky and are populated by humans, whose risky performance AIs cannot comprehend.

Current and future applications of drone technology

Facebook's Aquilla drone is of the advanced application of drone technology
Facebook’s Aquilla drone is of the advanced application of drone technology

Making in-air videos is the major usage of consumer drones while delivery drones are currently being considered for making automated food deliveries. Police and security forces use them for analyzing certain situations where they cannot interfere themselves, like hostage situations. Drone racing is emerging as a very enjoyable sport while there’s also an example of stunt droning which is the only reason the man in the video below got popular on the YouTube.

Technological Challenges

While abuse of drone technology has been discussed below, technological challenges include making the drones that are lighter, faster, can carry more weight and can go farther. Tech companies are currently focusing on drones with greater remote control range. Most drones are limited to 100s of meters, but in the coming years, we could see coverage of several miles. (Parrot Disco has already reached 1.2 miles range)

Likewise, the battery life is also another limitation on their flight range, speed, and duration. More powerful batteries mean more can be delivered to its propellers in lesser time, hence enhancing the speed. Carbon fiber as a strong and light material will prevail the drone design.

Abuse of Drone Technology

Well, the first drones we know were only used by the military forces. Their capacities are more intensive and violent, but the point is that they were already very capable. As the drone technology is evolving, so are the countless possibilities in which it can be abused. Spying comes at the top, but that’s just the beginning because delivery drones can also be used to deliver drugs, and remotely detonable explosives.

Those concerns are real and present a real hurdle in the development of drones that could benefit us in much more ways. However, preventing the evolution of drone technology is not an answer to this problem because doing so we will only prevent technological progress and the benefits it could perform in so many undiscovered ways. A possible solution to this problem could lie in selling them to registered buyers for record keeping or deploying a tracking system on every drone so their activities can be tracked by security authorities.

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