What Is a Drone?


In the last few years, the market for drones has grown leaps and bounds. At one time, the use of these devices was restricted only to the military and government organizations such as disaster management. These days, however, these devices are used in a more widespread manner and even by civilians. The technology has also evolved a lot, and better drones are coming into the market. If you are unaware about what a drone is and why and how it is used, read on.

What are Drones?

These are remotely managed, unmanned aerial vehicles which can be used for particular tasks as well as for casual flying around as a pastime or hobby. Many companies are now into the production of these devices, which are being seen as cool by the young and old. DJI Phantom, IO Hawk and Parrot are some of the big names in the business. There is mini drones used for simple flying about as well as larger drones, some of which are equipped with cameras in order to shoot pictures and videos.

Drones are also often referred to as UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). These are operated through radio controls, and the fact that they can be used as an extra pair of eyes makes them ideal for accessing seemingly unreachable or “difficult” locations.

Why Are Drones Used?

Flying drones in the sky make a pretty sight, although their usage goes beyond simple appearance. Today these aerial vehicles are used for various purposes, such as:

  • Real Estate – Whether for scouting locations for development and construction, or in order to capture excellent aerial footage of constructed properties, drones are highly useful.
  • Photography – Aerial photography with drones can capture thousands of square miles in high quality, and the footage can be downloaded real-time to smartphones, tablets and other devices.
  • Disaster Management – These are useful for spotting people stranded due to floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
  • Medical Evacuation – Drones are also used by medical evacuation teams to find people in difficult locations in snowy or high altitude regions or even forests and sea.
  • Agricultural and Forest Management – The aerial footage captured by the devices also aid in managing vast agricultural land and forests, which are seemingly difficult to traverse and look at.
  • Military Operations – Ever since drones came out first, they have been used by military personnel to view war situations, stealthily glance at tactical arrangement of forces by the enemy side, locate soldiers stranded in hostile territories and more.

Drones are also used for many other purposes. Equipped with sensors and high definition cameras, these help in data collection and analysis. These also aid in structural analysis and evaluate the condition of bridges, roads, buildings and other structures. With next generation cameras and sophisticated software, such devices aid in collecting information and sending them back for analysis, all in real time. An estimate by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has predicted that as many as 30,000 drones could be hovering in the American sky by year 2020.