When you hear the word drone, what do you think of? Depending on who you ask, you’ll likely get a different response each time. Some people will have a notion of an airborne, death-dealing military machine while others will be more hopeful, contemplating their potential for completely revolutionizing the delivery and logistics industries. Still others will think about them for use and incorporation into their personal business to shoot video or photography, while others will think of them as fun hobbies, toys, or useful little machines to capture the moments of an outdoor adventure. The nature of drone technology includes all these things, and their capabilities are growing in number every day. As the technology to produce airborne tech decreases rapidly, it becomes more affordable for more individuals and organizations to begin using drones in creative new ways, including the possibility of having pizza delivered right to your doorstep by your friendly neighborhood drone.
Drone Tech: Origins
Surprisingly, the concept of a drone was invented a little more than almost 100 years ago during World War I. The impetus for the new technology was the same for most new technologies—ongoing warfare. From the birth of the airplane and its use on the battlefield, engineers quickly realized the limitations created by having a human pilot in the cockpit. Human pilots get fatigued, have trouble at altitude without pressurized cockpits, and have to return to base, but unmanned vehicles don’t have any of these needs or problems.
The first drones utilized gyroscopes to set them on a guided course and then dropped munitions after a certain time has passed. They were extremely inaccurate, and most reports of early drones involved them crashing or flying away, never to be seen again.
While drone use is still constantly growing in the military, the decrease in costs to produce drones has resulted in their use for many other applications. Drones today are finding use in business, government, for humanitarian purposes, and for personal use too.
Businesses are using them for everything from aerial photography for real estate to surveying large swaths of land. Governments such as Australia’s are using them for environmental management, including preventing illegal dumping and illegal fishing. Drones were most recently used for humanitarian efforts in Nepal to perform search and rescue activities after the catastrophic earthquake this past April. For personal use, drones are everywhere today – you’ve likely seen some pretty cool YouTube videos of drones flying over cities or other breathtaking landscapes, and you can find them on Amazon for less than $50.
Drones in the Future
There have been some pretty interesting uses for drones in the past few years, but the future is even more promising. Just a few days ago, Amazon reported to Congress that its drone delivery service will be ready within a year. But that’s not all – as the title of this post implies, some pizza shops have even done some test runs of drone delivered pizzas, the first one in Russia in 2013 and a delivery completed by a New York City-based pizza shop less than a year ago. The future looks bright, especially if the rise of the machines consists of piping hot pizza delivered in thirty minutes or less.
Informational Credit to Drones ETC.