Innovative ways to use IoT-enabled drones in the near future

Global research and development budgets for drones is expected to hit 4 billion dollars by 2020 according to Statista. This, says freelance writer Jocelyn Brown, signals the increased application of drones, across various industrial sectors.

Leveraging the ongoing IoT revolution, drones have experienced accelerated transformation in their use from being hobbyist toys to complex IoT devices. Furthermore, the rollout of 5G technology is expected to enhance the ability of drones to react to commands in real time enabling instant feedback. This is expected to increase their capabilities and performance. Drones increase efficiency and productivity while reducing workload and costs. This factor makes them an invaluable addition to various sectors.

Applications in agriculture

The global population is expected to hit the 9.6 billion mark by 2050. To be able to feed this population, innovative and more progressive agricultural practices are needed. Among them is the use of drone technology. Traditional farming practices rely on intuition and experience. Using smart drone tech will enable the application of precision agriculture techniques by farmers.

Drones will be able to carry out comprehensive monitoring of crops resulting in high yields. Using drone sensors, farmers will be able to collect data on the state of a crop, water amount and soil type in a farm. Through deep learning, they will also be able to identify pests, weeds, diseases, and nutritional deficiencies early on. After analysis, the drones will provide recommendations to the farmer on optimal productivity conditions and interventions that need to be made. This will lead to increased productivity in farming and consequently increased yields.

Industrial applications

Inspection and maintenance of industrial facilities typically pose a lot of challenges as well as health risks. Sections such as boilers, furnaces, mines, power grids, and tunnels are hard to access and pose health hazards to inspectors. However, with inspectors learning how to use smart drones, maintenance can be expedited and in a way safer manner. Using sensors and cameras, the drones gather data which is then relayed in real time to an inspector.

In this sector,  Intelligent drones will also be used in wind turbine inspection and maintenance in the future. They will fly to the turbine blades, run checks and where necessary carry out minor repairs such as deicing, painting, and cleaning. This reduces human machine intervention resulting in reduced costs and reduced safety hazards.

Revolutionising delivery of goods and services

Intelligent drones are also expected to change how deliveries are made. Where other modes of transport are not viable, drones will come in handy. This will reduce challenges associated with delivering relief and medical supplies in disasters and emergency situations. A pilot project has already taken off in Rwanda with medical supplies supplied to remote hospitals using drones.

Drones are also expected to change responses to emergencies. Apart from performing visual searches and sending feedback, drones will also be able to work together and build temporary shelters for the survivors. This will be enabled by advancements in technologies such as 3D printing using additive building manufacturing technology.

In addition, drones are also going to be used to help firefighters determine exact locations of a fire as well as locating injured people. Police will use the intelligent drones to spot violent behaviour and release tear gas or pepper spray to disperse crowds.

Application in construction

Investment in drone use by construction companies is already on the rise. Estimates from Goldman Sachs report shows that by 2020, construction companies will have spent $11 billion (€9.9 billion) on drones. Using drones, construction owners are able to see what is happening on the site from the comfort of their offices.

Drones will also be helpful in giving the first-hand view of an upcoming structure as well as monitoring its progress. This will reduce the time and effort used in making regular site visits, especially when with clients. Inspection of roofs, mining operations, and utilities will also be enhanced with the use of drones which in turn reduce accidents and thus increase safety in any construction site.

Drones are able to access places that are ordinarily inaccessible and in the process record and relay real-time data. With technological advances, drone users will continue to discover new uses. Challenges such as battery power life and flight time, notwithstanding.

The author is freelance writer Jocelyn Brown.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

OCF celebrates pulse systems’ installation of newly certified IoT platform for smart lighting

Posted on: December 6, 2021

The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) has announced the first installation of the recently-certified low power IoT platform, from OCF member Cascoda, that combines the end-to-end security benefits of OCF and the low power, wide-area coverage advantages of Thread.

Read more

Green Custard Ltd develop robust predictive maintenance system for Martin Engineering Ltd

Posted on: December 6, 2021

Green Custard Ltd, a professional services company and AWS Advanced Consulting partner, together with Eseye Ltd (also an AWS partner) has been selected by Martin Engineering Ltd to build a global predictive maintenance and monitoring platform on AWS so their localised US platform can be rolled out internationally.

Read more