The Drone Explosion
One of the things I have posted about often here on CloudTweaks is the ever growing world of drones. There are legal requirements now for how, where and when you fly your drone. The FAA has a registration site to reduce the abuses that have been flagrantly visible. The number of near misses (airplanes and drones) has increased. Last year a drone flew over the US Open in Flushing Meadows. Since my last post in May 2017, some new drone offerings are now available. Delivery drones now drop burritos for people in more than three cities. Nobody is doing pizza yet, per my Pizza drone post here on CloudTweaks but it is coming I am sure.
The market and capabilities in the drone space continue to expand. Waterproof drones are in development (capable of landing on water) and these include water proof cameras. I doubt the lighting will be great so viewing the ocean floor isn’t an option. But the concept of water proof drones is something on the soon to be shipping the horizon. You wouldn’t land a waterproof drone on rough water, it would likely get swamped, but you could land it less choppy water.
Recently FLIR, the people that make infra-red imaging devices, released an Infra-Red camera Gimball (the camera mount for a drone is different than other camera mounts and is called a gimbal). This allows for the ability to see heat maps from above. I have talked about the fact that every fire department and fire chief in the US should get a drone with infra-red cameras, and train on how to fly it. Just the reality of being able to determine hot spots on a roof without sending firefighters in is a huge potential life-saving toolset.
Another interesting product set that is upcoming in the drone world is the ever expanding camera capabilities. In particular, there are gimbals in development that would allow you to attach a 360 camera to your drone. A 360-degree camera mounted on a drone would allow you to present wider angle views from above. Making the Gimbals flexible and easily swapped it another offering that some drone companies are considering.
All of this goes back to my initial call for regulations that are now real. In the future, I would hope that the companies selling drones will have to register every drone before it leaves their facilities rather than end users having to register them as is the case now. The last part of what needs to change remains the reality of image ownership. I have spent a lot of time considering the reality of images taken by a drone.
Drones are amazing and fun devices. They are devices however that can cause problems for other people, intended or unintended. One of the things you really should consider when flying them is to think of them as an extension of yourself. If you shouldn’t be somewhere, then by all means neither should your drone!
By Scott Andersen