Just when we thought, remote control copters or paper planes were the only play toys cum unwired unmanned inventions; the world of Ultron introduces their secondary bots, Drones. In common parlance, drones are the Unmanned Air Vehicle, relative to the use of a manned aircraft.
Recent worldwide media attention, and a pizza joint in Mumbai, India, where an Italian pie was delivered via drone in Mumbai has put Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the spotlight. Different applications have made some astonishing headlines – they are being used for military surveillance in Pakistan by the US Army, for aid work in Africa (Matternet), and as a quick parcel delivery system in Germany (DHL Paket).
There are four main UAV technologies: micro and mini UAVs, tactical UAVs, strategic UAVs and special task UAVs; and they may distinct from their multiple sizes, multiple uses, and multiple features. Some luring features:
14 Amazing things you can do with Drones
1. Paper plane plus – They are unmanned aerial vehicles (a plus to what we as kids flew at each other) that vary in sizes, uses and hence more cost effective, without a professional pilot aboard. Typically, they are often variously referred to as killer drones, attack drones, spy drones or surveillance drones. The names change based on what the drone is being used for.
2. It blings – Not literally but literally! For many who enjoy adventurous sports, sports that restrict you from video tapping or clicking yourself, drones sync up with your Smartphone through GPS. It follows you everywhere, drawing much attention to it and the owner.3. Traits of chameleon – Not limited to merely flying, for a geological survey, photographing is programmed in drones to perform precise, repetitive and fast scans of a region; day-after-day, night-after-night; in complete darkness, fog, rains, etc. under computer control. It is also capable of emergency and disaster monitoring, cartography and mapping, search and rescue operations. It can also monitor weather reconnaissance, flight research, and fire-fighting monitoring and management.
4. Aid to infrastructure – Site and layout planning on the construction site, especially when the land spans acres, and in other industries, the use of UAVs can be beneficial.
5. The new James Bond – While trains, boats, and to a lesser extent cars have to follow restricted pathways by virtue of their design, UAVs can move anywhere and everywhere.
6. Be a director with mere controller – Drones are catching the fancy of anyone with an interest in flying, photography or aerial cinematography. Companies like Delhi-based Quidich, are successfully using multirotor drones to shoot aerial videos and photographs for clients like filmmakers and television news channels. Some say that this future will be ours very soon, while others stay sceptical.
7. Delivery drone – Logistic delivery is also a unique feature. Companies in the US have test had deliveries of beer and flower bouquets with UAVs. Pizza delivery in Germany and a DHL delivery are some other instances.
8. A doctor – Not literally but the most obvious advantage of drones is that they greatly reduce putting military personnel in harm’s way or in combat. Not just this, drones can be used as a weapon in military operations for warfare to counter terrorist operations, especially in carrying out pre-emptive strikes, border patrol, reconnaissance survey, inspection of power lines and pipelines in remote areas, traffic and accident surveillance, etc.
9. In budget – One of the most obvious advantages of drones is that their cost of operation is low since they are significantly cheaper to purchase, fuel and maintain than regular airplanes. UAVs have been referred to variously as drones, robot planes, pilotless aircraft, Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs), Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPAs), etc. which describe aircrafts that are controlled remotely with no person aboard.
10. Debility! That’s not in my dictionary – In the absence of human pilot, drones can stay in operation for significantly longer hours without getting tired or hungry. Additionally, drone operators can easily hand off the controls of a drone without any operational downtime.
11. Masters in MATH – Drones can have a lot more pinpoint accuracy even from greater distances, thus reducing collateral damage to civilians (during an air-strike, etc.) or infrastructure.
12. Lethal partnership – Drones can prove to be as lethal to enemy combats as regular airplanes. UAVs, apart from non-military roles, operate in diverse environments and high risk areas, which include scientific research in the fields of atmosphere, oceanography, geophysics, mineral exploration, imaging spectrometry aerial photography, promotion and advertising, agricultural spraying. In Madhya Pradesh, the Panna Tiger Reserve was test-site for the use of drones for keeping track of the comings and goings of tigers and looking out for poachers.
13. “I got my eyes on you” – Before drones were used in combat, they had proved to increase surveillance, reconnaissance, and general military intelligence, patrolling the city, telecommunications relay along with police surveillance.
14. Deployment – Finally, drones are significantly easier and faster to deploy than most alternatives. It is efficient to enter environments that are dangerous to human life reducing the exposure risk of the aircraft operator. They have a run time of almost 30 hours, qualifying for military purposes and can be programmed to autonomously complete missions even when contact with its controller is lost.
DR. Dhrubajyoti Bhattachajee http://www.icwa.in/pdfs/IB/2014/IBUnmannedAerialVehicles.pdf