Robot technology has seen impressive strides in the past couple of decades. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), more commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot and is considered the most advanced equipment in robotics, electronics, and aeronautics. Since its inception, it has assisted the military, the business sector, space exploration, and other vital aspects of society.
Gone are the days of society having a negative view of advances in robot technology. While many of these threats are valid and worth guarding against, the benefits of drone technology far outweigh the risks. Here are some ways it has transformed society for the better.
Law enforcement agencies productively use drones to conduct surveillance and collect evidence against perpetrators. Drones can also be a significant source of evidence to aid prosecutions and investigations as they are incredibly helpful concerning digital data analysis of height, speed, GPS coordinates, and others. This information can provide a lot of valuable data about criminals. The use of drones helps law enforcement agencies to extract necessary information in dangerous circumstances while preserving manpower and financial resources.
Drone technology is incredibly helpful to various kinds of businesses. They have been indispensable to farming agricultural research, as they help farmers assess the state of their livestock and crops, mark boundaries, and help with inventory.
The robot vision variant is also helpful to businesses because it assists in performing tasks such as inspecting, counting, measuring, identifying, and reading the barcode. Vision systems have ultra-high-speed imaging and lens quality that facilitate many operations in one process, helping businesses improve operations, quality, and efficiency and catch errors that human eyes usually miss.
Disaster relief and rescue operations
Various relief and non-profit organizations utilize drone technology and robotics to deliver and distribute goods and relief aid to areas that aren’t safe for human travel. Drones are also helpful in locating missing persons in areas that have been hit by natural calamities like a flood or earthquake.
Since 9/11, flying drones have been deployed by the United States military in combat. They have proven themselves useful, as UAVs have safely defused roadside bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Aside from the deployed human-controlled drone fleets, military engineers and scientists are also in the process of building lethal artificial intelligence-driven self-governing battlefield bots. Critics of using robotic technology in the military argue that drones piloted by remote controllers are hardly foolproof and cause accidental bombings. At the same time, proponents say that drone strikes are still better than other alternatives.
Real estate marketing
Photography and videography have always been essential to real estate marketing, and drones have quickly entered this market. For many years, real estate firms had to make use of helicopters and to take breathtaking aerial shots, but drone technology has taken over this practice for a fraction of the price.
The role of robotics has been indispensable to space exploration due to non-terrestrial planets’ uninhabitable conditions. UAVs have also helped significantly in the study of space, with four rovers having been successfully deployed to explore Mars. NASA’s Dragonfly Mission plans to deploy a rotorcraft to Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, to check for origins and signs of life. It is expected to launch in 2026 and arrive on Titan in 2034. For two years, it is expected to gather samples and send back data to Earth.
Drones and robots also assist in the inspection industry as these advancements help companies inspect a broad array of assets. These devices can safely go through transport systems, power lines, pipelines, oil and gas facilities, and other infrastructure that are potentially hazardous to humans. There are also service robots that can perform specific maintenance tasks. Drones and robots can neutralize different kinds of risks while allowing companies to cut costs and keep their workforce out of harm’s way.
Media and film production
Since the Federal Aviation Administration gave exemptions to drone-filming companies, drone technology has also changed the game for media and film, with countless filmmakers and cinematographers finding new and innovative ways to tell different stories. Some examples of successful movies and TV shows that have used drones to film iconic scenes include The Wolf of Wall Street, Game of Thrones, Skyfall, and The Expendables 3.
Robotics in the Time of COVID-19
These machines also offer more benefits during COVID-19, as they can perform jobs and functions that were once carried out by humans. As long as the virus is still around and social distancing is a must, drones and robots can serve the public by performing essential tasks and reducing the risk of infection.