Drones have gained a lot of publicity in recent times particularly in a country like Nigeria where the regulators suddenly woke up and issued guidelines that did not go down well with majority of the tech community. There is no doubt that a disruptive technology like this has some challenges but then it also has some positives that we should embrace.
Drones are more popularly referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The term UAV helps us to define drones as unmanned flying aircrafts or flying aircrafts without a physical pilot manning the cockpit. They can be operated by remote control or can fly autonomously by means of artificial intelligence, working with Global Positioning Service, GPS.
One important thing to note about drones is that their usage has some limitations and a few laws and regulations are to be adhered to by its user to make sure that it does not violate any privacy policies and rights of a nation or an individual.
Drones are mainly used in circumstances where manned flights are very difficult and dangerous to carry out. The United States is currently the biggest manufacturer of drones. It is interesting to note that the most regular users of drones are also found there.
The US military, in fact, now has about seven thousand drones. The United Kingdom Army has about 500 drones, and The RAND Corporation reports that another 23 nations are creating or have created armed drones.
Drones can be very useful but like almost anything else, they also have some downsides. In this piece, I will be sharing some productive and positive uses of drones as well as a few negatives.
They are being utilised extensively in scientific study. They are handy in conducting surveys of different kinds such as geophysics surveys and terrain mapping. Researchers are trying to apply drones in areas such as remote inspection in dangerous environments and NASA is even beginning to analyse the make-up of the ozone layer with its Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment, which makes use of a Global Hawk Drone capable of cruising for 30 hours uninterrupted.
Drones are also used to keep track of endangered species and observe variations in wildlife habitats and behaviour. In Indonesia, for example, scientists are studying the endangered species, “Sumatran orangutans”, from above the treetops.
Organisations, like The World Wildlife Fund, WWF and International Anti-Poaching Foundation, IAPF, are utilising drone technology to stop the hunting of elephants and rhinos. Scientists in Australia are using drones to monitor seabirds in North-Western Australia, taking very high quality images of nesting seabirds without disturbing their peace.
Another important use of drones is in the fighting of fire and rescuing people. — Finish Reading on the Punch Website