DRONES — Flying Into The Future

How drones are transforming the world, one step at a time…

1. Disaster relief and humanitarian aid.

2. Public transit.

3. Drones for Agriculture

According to a Dronefly press release, the use of drones in the agriculture can basically be boiled down to four segments: Crop field scanning with compact multispectral imaging sensors, GPS map creation through on-board cameras, heavy payload transportation, and livestock monitoring with thermal-imaging camera-equipped drones.

Source: Dronefly Infographics

4. Ocean mapping.

5. Drones for Surveying — Story of A Switzerland Startup

When I started writing this article,as a part of my research, I came across a company that is the world’s leading VTOL drone producer located in Switzerland — Wingtra AG.

What was the idea of Wingtra?

When you think about drones, there are two major types. Multicopters — these take-off and land vertically, have excellent precision, but cannot cover lot of area. And Fixed Wings — these use wings to generate lift, can travel long distance but hard to use for inexperienced drone users since they need to be hand launched. To bridge this gap-they have leveraged the usability factor of a Quadcopter with the large coverage that you obtain from Fixed Wings.

What was the most challenging part of building this?

The most important part of the technology is the transition phase — to be able to combine the functionality of a quadcopter and a fixed wing. This took us the longest time to achieve.
The second most gripping challenge was safety, since this device is interacting with people out there. For academic purposes, it was okay when there were a few failures. But, when you start to sell commercially, it had to be 100/100 so people who’ve never seen it before can still use it safely.

How does the technology work to create this magic?

There are multiple sensors on the device that make it work — an air speed sensor, a magnetic compass to measure orientation, inertial measurement unit and a small micro-controller that takes in all of this input.

Now that you have a fully autonomous Drone, what’s the next leap?

I think we have made good progress in the aerial imagery and data collection part. However, the data we collect even in a single flight can be quite large: 1000s of images summing to tens of GB. So, an interesting challenge to solve next would be to make the data handling and transfer from the drone to cloud work seamlessly.

6. Drones for Delivery

There is no story complete without Amazon peeking in for a glance. Amazon was granted a new patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a delivery drone that can respond to human gestures. From two-day delivery to two-hour delivery, Amazon’s next vision is to get this down to less than 30 minutes.

There’s a happy looking drone!

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Kalyani Kolli

Kalyani Kolli

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Consultant, Mechanical Engineer, Bookworm and Writer | Aspiring STEM Content Creator & Speaker | Hodophile | Photog | Friendly Therapist | Foodie | Let’s talk?