Dec 5, 2016

Gone are the days where drones are vilified as being the “scary” robotic of our society. We’re so used to thinking of them as military-grade aircraft systems that are closely listening in on our every single move, but this impression has thankfully been diminished. Initially being popularized in the consumer market as a high tech tool for amusement and videography, drone technology is rapidly creeping into enterprise industries. Businesses and corporations alike are beginning to realize just how advantageous drones can be for rather dangerous or difficult tasks. Let’s explore just how beneficial these devices can be and the sectors they can already be found in.

Wait What’s a Drone?

A drone is simply just an unmanned aircraft, better known as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The aircrafts can be controlled remotely with a controller or software compatible devices that work with the built in sensors and GPS capabilities on the drone itself. The best and most famed example of what a prototypical drone looks like in today’s modern age is the DJI Phantom 4 with quad propellers and helicopter type frame.

Drones Put to Use

Google and Amazon aren’t the only companies using drones in the workplace. The use of these machines has evidently switched its focus towards a more commercial use. Business Insider reports that:
“The FAA expects consumer drones to grow from 1.9 million at the end of 2016 to 4.3 million by 2020. In that same period, the administration expects commercial drone usage to grow from 600,000 to 2.7 million.”
Drones are dominating in the enterprise market.
The trend towards more civil application is promptly becoming a reality. We’re seeing uses in agriculture with aerial crop/fertilizer surveying, in engineering with pipeline and bridge inspections, and in the healthcare industry with timely deliverances of medical supplies.

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Zipline is a US robotics and drone company that uses its airplane like drones to carry vaccines, medicine, or blood from medical centers to individuals in dire need. Their business has actually teamed up with the Government of Rwanda to deliver all blood products for twenty hospitals and health centers throughout the East-African country. Another up-incoming business to keep a close watch on is Agribotix, an enterprise agricultural intelligence company that offers fully supported and user-friendly drone technology used exclusively for agriculture purposes. Offering both the hardware and the software, Agribotix allows farmers to survey up to 160 acres of land and use actionable intelligence to do things such as reduce pesticide and fertilizer use which can inevitably lower costs.

Where’s the Drone Market Flying to Next?

According to a study conducted by PwC, the drone market has reached an approximate value of $127 billion and is forecasted to keep growing. Companies are beginning to see the collective value drones have for both civilian use and enterprise apps. And with new regulations by the FAA being release quite frequently, there is an enormous amount of potential in this market. The real question to ask; Where is this trend headed?
With robotic technology advancing at an accelerated rate, drones will continue to see progression with better-developed on-board sensors, longer battery life, superior data collection, and a plethora of other groundbreaking services. Activities that previously required human engagement may now be fully designated as work for these tiny flying machines. Alongside improvements in automation, software efficiency and data collection intelligence will continue to add support for enterprise business functions.

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The exact future of drones is unclear. With so many questions regarding privacy issues and set flying rules in compliance with the law, the forthcoming is yet undecided. One thing is certain however, these soaring little robots are here to stay and will continue to one way or another, glide into our daily lives, reshaping the enterprise business landscape for good.


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