Management · Strategy · Technology

Drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

Himani Sharma elaborates upon the concept of drones and their increased use and significance in the present world.


Drones are usually known as unmanned aerial vehicles as they can be operated without the need of an internal pilot or are handled remotely. The initiation of this technology was done long time back but now it is growing at a greater pace. Extensive use of them in military, agriculture etc. areas has been noted in the world, since they are cheaper than other conventional aerial methods to detect and study things.

Operation : According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the use of drones can only be permitted to authorized persons for various non – recreational and other commercial uses.


Till now, drones were not able to sense the obstacle in their path like a tree, and would not change its course. Instead of being remotely operated, drones should be able to self – operate and sense and respond to the locality or the environment they are working in.

Step in this regard has already been taken up by :

  1. DJI (a Chinese technical firm), which has prepared a drone for an excellent guidance system. It allows the flying robot to detect the obstacles in its path and keep itself at a predefined distance from it.
  2. Amazon’s Prime Air will make use of these drones which will drive packets across cities in the same manner as driverless cars. 


Fig. The Drone Age



So this guidance system can be used for many activities. like it has already been used in the company in June to provide parking tickets.



1. By Public Servants : In Ottawa, a city park in Petrie Island has been protected from hundreds of geese droppings by the use of a drone named ‘goosebuster’, which produces sounds on their fall as it is connected to a speaker. Another is an incident that took place in June in Michigan, where a fireman named Roma saved two boys who were stucked in the middle of river Maine. With the help of a drone, he carried a line out to them and passed life jackets for them to float and land safe.

2. In academics : For aerial photography of the places which are hard to reach by humans like caves, glaciers etc. Aerial surveys being costly, many geographers, archaeologist used drones fitted with cameras for providing 3D models. An oceanographic institution in Massachusetts have taken breath samples of spiting whales and analyzed their DNA.

3. In Hollywood Industry  : The movie Avengers has been found with an eye catching scene where drone was used to track a shot of an ultron. It could not have otherwise been shot, but the director was pleased to inform about the use of drone to capture that shot. 

4. In Agriculture : This year in U.S, startup companies like Vine Rangers have fostered the use of drones to collect data regarding ground conditions for vineyards. Its success during this year led to the initiative of extending it to large-scale farms in future.

5. Spotting Wildfires Before They Start : The the use of manned vehicles to predict forest fires made it expensive and fast speed did not allow to take relevant images. Recently NASA has developed a system with help of two drones one of which carries an infrared camera and slow speed and low height which helps to take good images.

6. Chasing Down Criminals : Recently in North Dakota in U.S, four underaged people were arrested at night who moved their way to cornfield as they were dunked. The cops used drone, as at night it would have been impossible to catch them on foot.

7. Tracking Disease Spread Patterns in Africa : Deforestation has changed the habits of growth of mosquitoes which has lead to malaria disease in the area. So, drones has been used to detect any change in the locality and the doctors could match that change with their patient’s record and track the growing disease in time to overcome its effects.



Drone industry has its widespread use in United States. It cannot be totally risk free whether self operated or operated by remote access. The use of ‘sense and avoid technology’ will help in its reliable operation during adverse conditions like fog, drizzle, storms etc. Drones are sold in large number these days every month, and are not only the craze of American people but also of the world. It is reliable, easy to use and can be of great help to regular people.

Large development is possible in the field of agriculture, where vast farming areas can be managed for detecting the attack of fungal infections growth and spreading of chemicals can be done at that spot only.

So, we can see that agriculture is the biggest potential global market for the drone industry. Moreover in the delivery service it is already in use in the world. Swiss Post has a trial drone-borne parcel service for packages weighing up to 1kg for use in delivering things. So there is huge scope and scale for the revolution in the use of small to large drones.

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