How the future of drone technology is already here
NEW YORK — Since their first use in the mid-1800s as hot air balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles have been used for security, photography, safety and many other applications. Today, drones are having a significant impact on the way we do business – from war reconnaissance and real estate marketing to filmmaking and inventory tracking.
For example, General Motors uses drones to inspect its facilities to safely monitor inventory of its production batches in two to three hours, versus what might otherwise take eight to 12 hours with a manual inspection in the field. These inspections can also be carried out without complete shutdown of the installations and without the risk of hoisting personnel in the air or on the rails.
Additionally, on the military battlefield, drones are playing an increasingly central role in providing crucial real-time intelligence and reconnaissance data that enables tactical advantages. Pre-mission mapping, target surveillance, and combat damage assessment are just a few of the advantages that drones offer on the battlefield without the added risk to human soldiers.
More and more industries understand the potential of technology to speed up protocol, provide safer working conditions and reduce disruption. To meet this growing demand, there are 865,505 U.S.-registered drones counting and 280,418 certified remote pilots, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“Given the many critical uses of drone technology, we are working to ensure that drones provide faster, more versatile and uninterrupted images that can be acquired using safer, remote-controlled technology,” says Jeff Thompson, CEO of Red Cat Holdings, a leading supplier. drone-based products, services and solutions.
Thompson identifies one of the latest innovations in drone technology as the ability to fly a drone from virtually anywhere in the world using only an internet connection through a cell phone near the drone. There are significant efficiencies, ranging from reduced staff to drastically reduced inspection time, that stem from the ability to inspect infrastructure, equipment, structures, grounds and worksites using only a drone and pilot hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. .
Another novelty? The ability to use four drones on a single controller to deliver actionable imagery immediately. Red Cat Holdings’ “swarm” of four drones marks the first example of a fully operational multi-drone system brought to market. Red Cat’s 4-Ship product provides control of up to four Red Cat subsidiary Teal Golden Eagle units, and an additional linked controller makes it easy to transfer control from one rider to another. This new product offering potentially offers continuous 360-degree surveillance of a target facilitated by a single pilot controlling up to four drones. To learn more or pre-order, visit redcatholdings.com.
From municipal traffic monitoring to personal recreational use, drones are changing and improving lives. And, thanks to advances in their design, they are becoming better, faster and more useful tools in a growing number of applications and industries.