How Can Drones Be Used in Making Our Lives Better ?
Date : January 21, 2018 By
Mankind’s curiosity to know more and understand better has helped the race find solutions to its every day problems, constantly pushing humanity forward. However, our simultaneous thirst for power and influence has led us to paths of destruction. Historically, life threatening weapons / gadgets have been used to usurp and hold influence. Eg: in fifteen century, Gun power was used to curtail the influence of Church. In fact, the first drone was developed to act as a bomb used to attack in a military warfare — Austria bombed Venice in the year 1849 using a drone like structure.
As military forces realized the application of UAV in combat, the more sophisticated version of ‘then’ drones — aerial torpedo — began destruction during World War I. The first generally used drone was a full-size retooling of the de Havilland DH82B ‘Queen Bee’ biplane, which was fitted out with a radio and servo-operated controls in the back seat. By as late as 2013, at least 50 countries were using UAVs in military project and combat. Reports reveal that China, Iran, and Israel invested heavily in designing and building their own varieties.
As a matter of fact, drones, that historically emerged as a hero solution to plethora of problems of armed forces (related with security and surveillance on extreme territories, lack of manpower in military situations, risk of loss of human life etc.), drones were welcomed by non-military sectors with much zeal. Be its proposed applications across hospitality, civil aeronautics, private security and surveillance, agriculture, entertainment and sports, the morning papers capture drone-related news almost every day.
The phrase ‘bird’s eye view’ when referred in relation with photography means all possible details including the minutest and the most significant one, providing complete visualisation in a single frame. Such a wholesome ‘view’, now, can be provided by a drone in all of the above mentioned non-military areas — an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), with an aerial eye, captures pictures and videos benefitting us in more ways than one.
When Amazon’s move for a drone delivery system was appreciated by all, the company didn’t waste much time in filing the patent for its beehive-like towers that would serve as multi-level fulfillment centers for its delivery drones to take off and land. Such technology masterpieces fire imagination to visualise how urban landscape could look like with vertical architectural beehives, standing tall among metallic jungles of urban India. Amazon envisions each city would have one. The said scenario reminds of “The Jetsons” comic strip for similar reference of yesterday’s future.
Others have since followed suit; for example, in September 2016, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University began a test with Project Wing, a unit of Google owner Alphabet Inc., to make deliveries, starting with burritos produced at a local Chipotle restaurant.
But, what will drones mean to the Indian subcontinent ? Surely, we have taken rather nicely to technological convergence, but useful applications of drone in India is still early. We believe that drones have the power to make our lives much easier. With advent of drone technologies, the following few changes could / should take place in India:
1. No Maintenance Issues: Water, Electricity, and Oil and Gas Lines
India has suffered many losses in PSU, which at some point can be traced down to the grassroots issues of sustenance and maintenance. Both are long-term expenses incurred by any venture of sorts. Often times, it is heard that labors / workers lost their lives because of entangled electricity wiring, short circuiting on city’s streets. With possible drone utilisation in maintenance of such widespread nature, maintenance and sustenance can be achieved in a shorter turnaround and will be budget friendly as well.
2. Unique Experience: Incredible India
The sky is literally the limit with respect to drone’s use in entertainment sector. Drones have already changed the audio-visual landscape in India. With NDTV investing heavily in latest news coverage technology — 360 degree coverage camera mounted on drones — the entertainment sector seems to be very enthusiastic about this new technology. Only recently, the news of drone selfie cameras called “AIR” were doing rounds on social media. Imagine if the tourism sector were to adopt drones to promote the Incredible India campaign in VR and AR modes. The campaign would be an interesting watch on Google cardboard.
3. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan 2.0: Drone Enabled
Imagine these drones buzzing around the Indian cities collecting garbage. It would not only collect garbage but also reiterate the clean city campaign in the minds of young India. The wow factor would leave a lasting impression on Indian youth. What a clean India drive it could turn out to be ! It might also combat the mistrust that citizens have due to rising crimes aided by municipality collectors and helpers. Drones could also aid in straightening stories of ‘Saavdhan India’ and decrease chances of murder, rape, and robbery in indian cities.
The above are just a few ideas revolving around drone’s integration in our society for non-military use.
For individuals, drones can easily be replaced as ‘man’s best friend’ !
A few possibilities could be as follows:
1. Farmers Breathe Easy with Drones
Farmer’s suicide has plagued Indian society for centuries now. Two main reasons cited by the news channels have been predominantly raising debt and water shortage. Caught in this vicious circle, farmers can be helped if drones are used for timely water delivery system (magnetic drones carrying water tanker) at a minimalistic budget. We can also further dive into its application for monitoring agricultural growth, administering aerial fertilization, aiding organic farmers, predicting soil and weather conditions, etc.
2. Music and Travel Enthusiasts Add a Zing to Their Experience
Drones (GoPros) are being extensively used by cultural, musical, and sports sectors. Thanks to stadium drone, cricket fans could view Women’s World Cup 2017 through various angles. Even music festivals like Sunburn, NH7 Weekender, and Hornbill have used drones to capture the serene venue, wooing and enhancing patriots’ experience. Bloggers with GoPros captured kickass POV footage getting better website hits for their ‘bird’s eye view’.
3. Real Estate: View a New Accommodation without Leaving Your Present One
The problem of hunting for accommodations in the Indian metropolitans has been breeding grounds for services provided by Quikr.com, 99acres.com, magicbricks.com, Sulekha.com, Airbnb etc. Integrating drones in their business model will provide customers real-time pictures and videos. Add AR to the mix, and there it is, the recipe for a unique customer experience.
The present Indian reality features drone as an item of display at university exhibitions and at hall of seminar of technology companies. Eg. Unmanned Systems Conference and Exhibition India (USCEI), organized by Johnnette Technologies Pvt Ltd., fourth edition of Unmanned Systems Conference and Exhibition India (USCEI 2017), to be held in Noida on November 7 and 8, 2017. Citing participations of predominantly military and ancillary sectors, these events does not include industries in other sectors such as FMCG, real estate, agriculture, and hospitality.
Seen and received well as an item of luxury gimmick and recreational fun, drone’s integration in society is only at its nascent stage. But with immense potential as discussed above, Verma Vector is looking to catalyse use of drones in our daily lives.