The word "drone" makes some people shudder, as the word has become associated with warfare, death, and destruction. But the aerial robots are now flying beyond conflict zones and are being used for good, delivering medicine and supplies to hard-to-reach locales, boosting communication in remote areas, and acting as flying spies to expose hidden cruelty to animals. We have compiled a list of the 6 best uses for these flying marvels that will help to polish up their tarnished image. Who knows? You might get a drone delivering your presents to your doorstep next Christmas!
Delft University graduate Alex Monton created an Ambulance Drone that can arrive to an accident scene as quickly as one minute after being dispatched. While an ambulance can take about 10 minutes, this drone doesn’t have to fight traffic and is equipped with a medical kit full of life-saving emergency supplies.
The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China is trying to combat its massive air pollution problems using parafoil drones. The flying vehicles are equipped with a paragliding wing that carries and releases chemicals with the aim to reduce the amount of PM2.5; the fine pollutant particles that are most harmful to people’s health.
Web giant Google has recently acquired Titan Aerospace—a high-altitude, solar-powered drone manufacturer that can supply Internet to remote areas in the world. While the flying robots will probably improve Google Earth’s aerial photos, they will also connect millions of people and help solve other problems like environmental disasters.
California-based startup Matternet, Inc. is currently testing a network of battery-powered quadcopters drones that will provide vital assistance to communities in need. The remotely operated electric drones will deliver supplies, medicine, and emergency relief to both people in remote locations, as well as to those suffering in post-disaster zones.
Investigative journalist Will Potter came up with the idea of using drones to photograph animal farms in order to expose animal cruelty, since those that pride themselves with “humane” or “free-range” labels are often far from either. Using flying drones will allow him to get around the “ag gag” laws, while showing to the world the cruel reality of abuses in many animal farms.
Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos announced that the company was going to try out an experimental shipping service called Prime Air, which will deliver goods using octocopter drones. Perfect for last-minute shoppers, these drones can deliver small packages to your doorstep in less than 30 minutes, provided that the recipient lives within a ten-mile radius of an Amazon distribution center.