Drones have become extremely popular in recent years, and they’re only set to become more prevalent as the technology that drives them continues to evolve and improve. As drones become smarter, faster, and more reliable, their uses will broaden, which will allow them to be used in more industries and in more ways than ever before.
Admittedly we can’t predict exactly how drone technology will progress over the next several years. However we can offer some educated guesses based on what’s already happened in the drone industry over the past few years and what other companies are developing with drones today.
Who will be using drones?
Drones are just beginning to enter the market, but if predictions are accurate the future could be filled with flying robots. Drone manufacturers believe their products will soon be used in a wide range of industries and functions. The automotive, aerial photography and videography, security/surveillance, and civil engineering industries have all already begun experimenting with unmanned aircrafts.
And while drones haven’t yet been widely adopted in these sectors, analysts expect that will change over the next decade or so as drone prices drop and efficiency increases. Companies like Royal Mail plan to use drones for deliveries, while engineers predict they’ll also be used by emergency responders and law enforcement agencies.
Drones are getting smarter
The way we think about drones is going to change over time. Currently, we talk about drones as if they’re tools or appliances—something that can help you but lacks a personality. But in reality, drone developers are thinking up ways to imbue their robots with character and personality.
For example, companies are designing drones that form themselves into swarms based on their environment and activity and offer a new level of functionality compared to current offerings. The sky (and drone technologies) truly is the limit!
As mentioned above, there are already some smart drones out there today. DJI Mavic 3 is an excellent example: It contains built-in GPS tracking abilities, meaning it can lock itself onto locations even when GPS reception isn’t perfect for precision landings.
This process was made possible by Inertial Measurement Units which keep track of flight paths, allowing pilots to manually input coordinates without worrying about location errors.
Other useful features include brushless motors that reduce weight while maintaining efficiency and 3-axis cameras so your photos will be clear no matter how far away you get from your subject.
Drones will fly longer and farther
In the years to come, it’s possible we’ll see longer-flying drones that are more automated and can fly farther than ever before. We may even start seeing military drone swarms become a reality. Such an application could have significant impacts on everything from weather forecasting to search and rescue missions.
The future of drone technology will be huge—and it will be very different from today’s commercial and personal models, but that doesn’t mean you should wait to buy a drone now or wait for the future to begin experiencing their benefits! It’s up to you. Go out there and make the most of your time with your favourite drone now, so you can enjoy its benefits longer in the future!
Artificial intelligence for better monitoring & operation
As drones increase in popularity, we can expect to see artificial intelligence incorporated into their monitoring and operation. Drones are sophisticated machines, but they’re limited by human behaviour and reaction time—if a drone senses a problem, it can’t act on its own to fix it.
Artificial intelligence will give drones superhuman vision and reaction times, which will make them increasingly autonomous with each new model. This will ultimately make drones safer and more reliable while simultaneously making us more aware of issues occurring around us that we might have otherwise missed.
New materials will make drones quieter, more durable
Drones are about to get a whole lot quieter and more durable. Recent research suggests that a coating of graphene, one of nature’s strongest materials, will significantly improve both qualities. On top of that, it also makes drones significantly lighter than they currently are, while keeping their weight-carrying capacity intact.
Graphene has long been considered one of humanity’s most promising innovations—and for good reason. This super-material conducts heat and electricity more efficiently than any other known substance on Earth (or off it) and is considered to be nearly impossible to break.
Drones will get more agile
Companies like Zipline and Matternet are already working on increasing drone agility. If you’ve seen a military drone in action, you’ll know that they can dodge obstacles and move with far more fluidity than consumer drones. There’s still a lot of improvement to be made in these areas, but many experts say we will start to see semi-autonomous flying machines within our lifetimes.
There will be an increase in customizability: It might not seem important now, but having customizable parts for your drone is important for ensuring its longevity. For example, if one part breaks or needs replacing due to wear and tear, you don’t want to have to replace your entire drone – just one small part.
Professional drones becoming safer and easier to use
Professional drones have become safer and easier to use, making them an attractive option for many commercial and industrial applications. However, there are still a few risks involved with using drones in certain industries.
For example, commercial drone use has increased substantially over recent years and some people remain concerned about safety risks posed by flying machines carrying heavy payloads.
If you’re looking to explore ways of implementing professional drones into your business or working on a commercial application for them, it’s important to make sure that you understand any risk factors involved.
Transport by air expected to grow rapidly, with new capabilities
The largest growth in civilian drones has come from companies developing drones for sale to businesses, hobbyists and other users. The drone delivery space is expected to grow rapidly in coming years, with Amazon testing its Prime Air program, which aims to deliver packages within 30 minutes.
Other companies have also started to test drone delivery programs of their own. In addition, as with cars and trucks before them, long-haul trucking companies are starting to use drones alongside or instead of manned vehicles.
The technology behind drones is always evolving and improving, so there’s no doubt that someday, they will be an essential part of our daily lives. There are already companies exploring potential drone uses in industries such as construction, aerospace, real estate, and entertainment.
Whether it’s a crop-dusting service to help farmers or drones for taking aerial footage for Hollywood films and commercials, people are getting excited about what these innovations could mean for their lives—and businesses—in just a few years from now.