A drone, also called UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System), is an aircraft that flies without a pilot on board, instead of, they may be operated remotely by a human pilot, but this is not always necessary because some of them have autopilot or total autonomy.
Drones are propelled by electricity, fuel, or hybridization of these two sources.
Unmanned aircraft have been used for a very long time. The first known use was in warfighting; in 1849, Austrian soldiers attacked Venice with hot-air, hydrogen, or helium-filled balloons equipped with bombs. The first radio-controlled aircraft were used in World War I battles.
As you can see, at first, UAS were mainly in military activities, as weapons, or as spying elements; eventually, they became multipurpose as several industries are adopting them as means of reducing costs and increasing value.
Some of the new uses of drones are:
As a delivery tool, they will be used to transport food, mailings, or purchases made online. Companies will start using them once the regulation allows it.
In different types of events such as sporting events, concerts, fashion shows, festivals, parades, etc. They can capture images from different angles and near people.
Fire detection and forest fire control, to collect information to anticipate and to stop the expansion of the fire. They can track heat maps and trace risk ones.
Rescue operations in natural disaster zones. Areas that have been devastated can be scanned by drones to locate missing persons or to find survivors and deliver them food and water.
Agriculture and livestock. Drones can spread pesticides and fertilizers on crops, they can locate pests and weeds, they can measure the height of crops, and control the herd.
Geological and climatological studies like sampling volcanic ashes to predict eruptions, monitoring landslides, predicting hurricanes path, etc.
Wildlife conservation by tracking displacements of groups of animals or watching over furtive hunting. Drones can also be used to reforest woodlands and forests dropping seeds from above.
Drones will become increasingly important, which is why drone operators and companies need to adapt their activities to take advantage of the new opportunities and uses.