Drone Technology! What is it and why are we hearing about it everywhere we go?
Drones are ‘vehicles’ that are unmanned, and can be controlled without a human on board. They can be controlled from the ground using a remote control or computer, and a GPS tracking system.
Drones and the Military
The military use them and refer to them as UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. More commonly though, they are just Drones. The military use them for a range of reasons, including dangerous situations where it is simply too dangerous to send humans, so they send drones in inspect the area and gather intelligence. They are regularly used for surveillance purposes.
Drones come in all shapes and sizes. They are progressively getting smaller and more sophisticated, allowing their use to sometimes go undetected.
Drones for Recreational Use
With the popularity of drones increasing dramatically in the past couple of years, there are now numerous rules and laws that have been put into place for the purpose of public safety. A few of these rules include:
- Drones may not fly higher than 120m above the ground.
- Drones cannot be flown over where emergency operations are occurring, including fires and car accidents.
- Drones may be flown during the day and must be kept in your line of sight.
- Drones may not fly over people, including parks, busy roads, festivals etc.
These are just a few of the rules that have been put in place for public safety and privacy.
Drones and Live Sports Coverage
When drones were first being used for live sports coverage, audiences initially thought that they were on the lookout for terrorists, however as sports fanatics are seeing them more and more in the sky these days, they are getting used to the idea that these could take over the roles of aerial photographers, which we would suspect would be a lot cheaper in the long term.
Drones and Pizza Deliveries
Pizza Deliveries? – Yes, you read that right!
A few years ago in 2016, Domino’s in New Zealand trialed a drone to deliver two pizzas to a customer in a town called Whangaparaoa, 25ks north of Aukland. Domino’s have said since then acknowledged that there is still a fair way to go with the technology and haven’t been spotted using a drone since for this, although they have admitted that it may very well be an essential component of their business in the future.
There have been other uses that drones have been spotted doing. Some say that drones can:
- Help farmers do aerial surveys of crops to make sure irrigation systems are functioning correctly.
- Assist in selling real estate, giving prospective buyers areal views of properties.
- Aid police in catching criminals and guarding the border.
- Support scientists in researching the planet and collecting footage of endangered species for documentaries.
And lastly, one use that we thought was quite creative around the time of the Pokemon Go craze back in 2016 was when one player decided to mount an Android phone to a drone and use AirDroid to cast the screen of his phone to his PC in order to catch Pokemon.
The price range of drones definitely do vary. We found The Ryze Tello on the market for $169 and the DJI Inspire 1 RAW 4K Drone for $10,299. While the cheaper one didn’t have a long flight time (13 minutes to be precise), it also only had a flight distance of 100m and could only handle 720 HD transmission, compared to the 4K recording that the high end model was capable of. The design of the high end model also featured carbon fibre arms and a 360 degree open view, allowing users to capture shots from all angles.