You hear about them on the news a lot. You might’ve seen them flying around your local mall. Drones came onto the world stage quickly and almost immediately they were everywhere. On one hand, the news goes on about how deadly they are. On the other, some kid in the mall is using them to do back flips and other silly tricks. Maybe you’ve seen pictures taken by drones from all sorts of impossible angles. What is a drone, and how can they be both deadly and a toy? Read on as we cover the basics in this drone definition.
A drone, also known as a unmanned vehicle comes in many forms. From land to air to sea, there is a drone capable of completing almost any task. Our drone definition will focus on airborne drones, or UAV unmanned aerial vehicles. There are many different types of UAV drones out there in use over several broad categories:
1. Deliveries including commercial and otherwise.
2. Imaging including video and photography.
3. Search, rescue, and medical aid.
4. Entertainment such as stunts and pranks.
Drones come in all types and sizes. Various fuels power drones including electricity, gasoline, jet fuel, and more. Drones have a pilot or driver. However, this is not necessary in all cases. Unmanned vehicles with established jobs whose error is unlikely and mistakes are unlikely to cause harm to people or property may run their route with no human assistance whatsoever. When most people think of drones they think of the QuadCopters (4 rotors), but there are others as well including but not limited to:
– TriCopters (3 rotors)
– HexaCopters (6 rotors)
– OctaCopters (8 rotors)
– Fixed Wing Airplanes
Deliveries Including Commercial and Otherwise:
Deliveries include products purchased online, food and other essentials sent to hostile areas, and munitions (things that explode). For more details on military applications, the BBC has a quality article on both the U.S. and U.K.’s drones and military capabilities (BBC Article can be viewed here). The application you’re most likely to see in your lifetime is something similar to Amazon Prime Air .
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) rules have been the biggest hurdle to deliveries by drones due to their regulations. The summary of the Small Unmanned Aircraft Pule part 107 describes the problem best. “Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS. Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within VLOS of the visual observer,” . In other words, you have to keep a close eye on it. This rule creates a severe problem if they’re swarming out to deliver packages.
Imaging Including Video and Photography:
Cameras are light weight and drones can fly. This combination is a formula for excellent unique pictures and videos you can’t get any other way. Drone photography is so unique, and frankly amazing at times, an app and website are dedicated solely to uploading the images called Dronestagram . The announcement of winners of their yearly contest happened only recently. The pictures are well worth your time if you get a chance to take a look.
Search, Rescue, and Medical Aid:
Unfortunately, it’s not always safe to go everywhere. Drones are an excellent way to scout out disaster areas and combat zones to rescue victims and civilians. They are also able to scout large areas and carry light-weight medical aid. Medical supplies we take for granted can quickly become scarce when a large number of people are hurt.
Entertainment Such as Stunts and Pranks:
Go to Youtube.com and search for “drone tricks.” You won’t be disappointed. “Drone pranks” is also a good search term, but I prefer “drone pranks gone wrong” myself. I would say don’t try this at home, but that’s the point, isn’t it? If you’re under 18 or too inebriated to drive yourself to the emergency room please, I beg you, don’t try any of these things without adult supervision. I mean a sober adult. Another drunk adult doesn’t count.
Whether you need entertainment, delivery, assistance, or want to take, photos drones are extremely helpful. They come in many shapes and sizes. They have a lot of military applications, but the ways you’re most likely to interact with them are much more fun and less complicated. I can’t wait to get Amazon Prime Air deliveries! For further reading and more drone definition guides follow the links listed below.
Drone Definition Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_aerial_vehicle
Drone Definition Scientific America: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/what-is-a-drone-anyway/