Until recently, drones were seen as expensive gadgets within the reach of a few individuals, with no specific purpose. However, after changes in regulations and drop in prices, drones have come up as an economically viable option in commercial applications. Drones have been particularly useful in industries, where the working condition is hostile to humans. This is because drones can be remotely navigated to reach nooks and corners and explore dangerous working conditions. With the technological advancements offered by the drone technology, companies have benefitted by increasing their ROI. Drone application isn’t only limited to drone videography but also delivery, environmental assessment, and automation. Here are some of the top drone applications gaining traction in the market today:
Farmers often need information about large tracts of land. Recent drone applications can help them track water usage, heat signatures, water use, and soil analysis. Aerial surveillance was an expensive affair in the past as it required planes to do the analysis, but modern-day drones significantly cut-down the cost. By using drone as a service, farmers have been able to boost their ROI and it comes as no surprise that the market is expected to reach the billion mark soon in a few years. Many start-ups are jumping into the scene with companies such as Jhon Deere partnering with Sentera to provide access to agricultural software.
Infrastructure development and maintenance
Inspecting infrastructure can be costly, and can cost companies thousands of dollars for manpower and transportation-related activities, such as boats and helicopters. However, drones can emerge as a cheaper, faster, and safer alternative to such options. A typical drone may cost only a few hundred dollars to employ; thereby, saving companies thousands of dollars. Today, telecom companies like AT&T are using drones to inspect cell towers so that people don’t have to risk their lives by climbing such high cell towers. Additionally, one of the key drone applications is their use in the energy industry to inspect solar farms, wind turbines, oil platforms, bridges, and dams.
Apart from its use in infrastructure inspection, it can also be used to replace it. It all started out in 2017 when AT&T tested their small replacement cell tower, which can be deployed during big events or disaster scenes to spread the load. Many companies are working on drones as a replacement for the current infrastructure. A solar-powered drone can stay in the air for months and disseminate internet to remote locations. Facebook and Google are notable names amongst the companies who are planning to use drones as an infrastructure.
Accidents on construction sites can be dangerous to the lives of workers in and around that area. Real-time aerial inspection allows for quick site surveys and decreases instances of accidents. Autodesk has invested heavily in drone maker 3D Robotics, which can capture site data that can later be analyzed by the Autodesk software. Roof inspection, construction site, mining operations, and utility inspection are some of the drone applications in the construction market.
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