Are you thinking of getting a drone for yourself? Well, this article will help you understand the usage, advantages and disadvantages of the drone technology before you spend your money.
Drones which are formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are aircraft devices capable of flying above the ground level in order to carry out certain actions without direct human piloting. They can be easily controlled by human operators or automatically piloted by computers.
“A drone is a pilotless aircraft, ship or submarine that a person or computer guides remotely.”
The Federal Aviation Administration estimated over 4 million drones sold in the United States by the end of 2020. While a growing number of industries are adopting this digital imaging and communication technology, including the military, government, commercial and recreational users.
Advantages of Drones
Allows High-Quality Digital Imaging
Drones are popular for their ability of taking high-quality aerial videos and photographs and its ability to collect huge amounts of high-resolution data. This data is then used to create 3D maps and models used for critical purposes. For example, 3D mapping of disaster hit areas enables rescue teams to be better equipped before reaching the situation.
It is also commonly used for live streaming of big events and important occasions of the entertainment industry as well as political and global events. Also, to cover personal events or to capture milestones.
As the drone technology keeps refining, the cost becomes reasonable. Because of their high popularity among the public, you can also find them under the sale category. They are no longer exclusive to military, law enforcement or elite purposes only.
It is a cost-saving technology as it acts as a replacement to manned operations, saving the cost of labor. They require less fuel to run and are cheaper to purchase and maintain.
Creates Safe Environment
Drones can be used for promoting safe environment. With capabilities to monitor, report and warn people of unsafe conditions and potential dangers, drones help in creating a safer environment. Aerial drones are also used for military missions which are dangerous for humans to enter without knowledge.
While it helps in obtaining real-life data upon surveillance and in order to monitor public safety, drones enable the operators to inspect suspected objects and situations which might pose as a threat to the environment or security.
Easy to Control
With clear and easy controls to use, drone technology is easy to operate by users with minimal or no experience to perform basic and simple tasks. This advantage added with affordability is the main reason why drones are so popular and accessible among a wide range of users.
Along with having a greater range of movement than manned aircrafts, drones can fly lower and, in several directions, and are easy to access in difficult situations and areas. They can also stay in the air for a longer period, doing repetitive tasks with complete precision under testing conditions.
No Fixed Service Hours
Since drones can be functioned unmanned with no fatigue, it is easier to use them for longer hours without complaint. They also have great accuracy at higher altitudes, eventually reducing potential harm to buildings, wildlife and the public.
It can gather high-quality aerial recordings and lots of data without feeling tired and with no fixed service hours.
Disadvantages of Drones
Potential Threat to Wildlife
Since drones can be operated in high-risk areas and forests or areas vulnerable to the wildlife, it is important to make sure about the safety of the wild animals and the nature. Even though wild animals can attack the drones and there is also a high risk of crashing the UAV into a tree or colliding with a defenseless creature, they pose as a threat.
Flying eagles could be a drone’s biggest enemy, as they fight for their space by attacking and sometimes even capturing the drones navigating the habitat in which they roam.
This technology is prone to easy abuse, as when the UAVs invade the privacy of a specific target group or an individual, they tend to manipulate the technology for their safety.
In the name of personal and public safety, many ethics of privacy have been violated with the use of drones.
Danger for Public
When you deal with a technology like drones, safety is the priority concern. Drones are customized and programmed to sense and detect any potential collision around them and they safely maneuver around it. To avoid any such situation where the public is at risk, drones’ capabilities are made to match to that of manned aircraft pilots.
It is not difficult to crash a drone, as it is also commonly used by amateur pilots who pose as a threat for accidents. When flown in highly-populated areas, they have an increased risk of ground impact and injury, especially when the system is hacked or if there’s a failure.
As the popularity of the drone technology rises every day, it is difficult for the legislature to catch up. Even though certain rules and laws have been established for the use of small drones for commercial and recreational purposes, there is still lot of ambiguity in laws, procedures and policies that regulate the usage of drones. Protection of property owners from aerial trespassing is still being developed.
The contradictions and conflicts between federal regulations and state, city and local laws over airspace property rights, creates unclear legislature for drone usage.
Threat to Airports
With drones becoming a household technology, airports are facing major threats because of this technology. These are not isolated accidents reported by a few people but it is becoming a major cause of restriction and accidents and also large-scale disruptions affecting at least 20 flights a month.
If by any chance, a drone collides with a plane, the results could be fatal on both ends.
As drones become a blessing in the technological space, it keeps creating a regulatory mechanism that can keep misuse at bay. With new laws passed by many states regarding the misuse of drone technology, it is becoming safer to use day by day. If used safely and wisely, it can help us reach places never seen before!