Believe it or not, drones have been around for nearly a century now.
Although the first drone was in fact a military drone, used by the U.S. military in 1918, the Kettering Bug (a flying bomb with cardboard wings and a 40 horsepower engine), was a catalyst for drone technology and everything that was to come afterward.
As we know, drones are indeed still used by military powers today, but they are also used and hired commercially for filming projects, photography shoots, advertising, and even providing wireless internet services.
But what could we do with drones in the future?
As we know, drones have long been used for years in rescue operations but smaller versions could save even more lives.
The University of Delft’s Micro-Air Vehicle Laboratory is currently developing a swarm of pocket drones that are small enough to fit into a person’s hand.
These will fly indoors, within buildings too badly damaged, and can spread out in search of survivors in the aftermath of earthquakes and other disasters.
A system has also been built by researchers at Loughborough University to help with mountain search and rescue using a team of up to 10 small hand-launched drones.
These are equipped with thermal cameras and can locate lost climbers and also communicate with them.
In the United States it has been announced that MedExpress are in talks with the General Pharmaceutical Council to roll out drone delivery services.
Dwayne D’Souze, MD of MedExpress said that:
“The rise of artificial intelligence, along with autonomous delivery and other sophisticated technologies, provides ample opportunity for businesses such as MedExpress to trial a range of convenient customer service options.
“We were very pleased with how the trial went. We’re considering making drone delivery part of our future service and are in talks to work out how we can do this. We’re confident our customers will love the idea.”
It also means that more embarrassing items, such as the morning after pill, can be delivered without a customer feeling stigma for making purchase.
Another drone company is looking to help deliver medicine to remote parts of Tanzania.
In the future beaches in Australia will be protected by drones that will be able to distinguish sharks from both dolphins and surfers.
Currently being developed, the technology, known as SharkSpotter, uses an algorithm to detect sharks in real time using a video feed while flying above the water.
This will be the world’s first algorithm developed using artificial intelligence and deep neural networks.
The drones will also be equipped with an onboard megaphone that will warn swimmers about what’s lurking beneath the waves.
It is often said that 2016 was the year of drones, but now more than ever film production companies are turning to drone hires to make the most of the film industry’s newest and most innovative technology.
But it doesn’t end here, drones are becoming lighter, more efficient, more versatile, and safer, which means we can look forward to more drone footage, both in the cinema and on our small screens.