7 Ways AI is Shaping the Drone Industry


This drone is checking on a field for a farmer. Drones can now be deployed with chemical sensors and heat map sensors to see if crops need more water, more fertilizer or more pesticides. Remember the days of the hand plow being pulled behind a horse? 


We all love our drones. They're fun, they're fast, and they're incredibly versatile. From playing pranks on friends (think of Darth Vader's theme being played while slowly flying toward your friend) to carrying messages to property surveillance, drones are here to stay and they are more of a hobby pastime than ever before! 

Thankfully, AI (or Artificial Intelligence) is making them even easier (and more fun!) to use today. Let's explore some of the ways in which AI is affecting the drone business


1. Construction Site Surveillance 

Construction site managers have the work of an office manager (coordinating people to all work together to accomplish a task), except that they work in dangerous building areas, with people who use heavy equipment, and in a very loud environment. This is an extremely difficult job. 

Regular drone usage allows construction site managers to view the entire site all at once. This bird's eye view is incredibly helpful when gauging how things are coming along and how "on time" the project is. 

AI can work with this drone camera assessment and power self-driving vehicles. This is a great way for people to be responsible for heavy machinery without also being in the middle of a potentially dangerous job. Employees can manage their equipment one piece at a time, by viewing it through drone surveillance, and then set the AI to perform repetitive tasks. 


2. Surveying Land (especially useful for permaculturists!) 

Land surveyors take a lot of time and effort and precision walking around a property and measuring shape, length, and elevation. Even the slightest elevation is useful to some property owners, especially permaculturists who want to create swales along a horizontal line that curves around the hills of the land. 

Regular drones can take camera footage, elevation footage, and other targeting software to map and survey the land. However, any elevation MEASURING has to be done after the fact, in a computer lab. You might as well just get out there with your plumb bob and do it by hand. 

AI can make this process so automatic that surveying is built into the video taking software, rather than having to be extracted after the fact. AI can also make it easy to identify unseen dips and ditches in the land. This can be incredibly useful when planning a construction site, a home site, or a professional field of any sort. Unseen dips in the land need to be viewed accurately and AI can have the drone take very accurate data about the layout of the land. 


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Cities can employ drones to keep track of weather conditions at the altitude where things are happening. Tourism agencies can also take stunning panoramic views to boost visits to the city. If you've ever wondered where all these amazing cityscapes come from, they're NOT coming from a guy in a shaky plane hanging out of the door while it flies overhead. They're being taken by a handy-dandy drone. 

3. Emergency Supplies to Local and Foreign Lands 

Hurricane victims who are trapped by water and rubble may need food and water while they wait for rescue workers. Tornado victims may need thermal imaging to help firefighters identify where they are in all the wreckage. Both local and domestic natural disaster victims can receive medicine and hygiene and food and water through the use of drones. 

Regular drones can act as carriers or parcel messengers between locations. Their range can be limited, and some smaller drones may not be able to fly in particularly windy conditions. 

AI can make this process a 24-7 service which regularly picks up supplies and flies them back to people in the disaster area, identifies people through thermal imaging and drops the packages nearby. This process can be automated to run around the clock until everyone has a package of supplies. AI software can also help the drone avoid particularly windy or stormy areas to increase the chances that it won't get lost or damaged. AI can assess the air currents and weather around a particular area and choose the safest path. 


AI can program drones to fly at a specific altitude and shoot the target (you or your client) at a specific angle. This can be a great tool for shooting music videos, family reunion videos, your own private version of Bollywood, etc. Remember to wear clothing which is flattering in the wind. 


4. The Ever Ready Military 

Predator drones (which have the most awesome name in the world!) are great at identifying targets, cities, buildings, areas, etc. which are targeted by the military. This can actually reduce civilian casualties by only targeting individuals who match face recognition software which has been uploaded to the drone. 

Regular predator drones have to be programmed individually. This takes a lot of time, man hours, programming skills, and these are larger models which can more easily be shot out of the sky. Fortunately, newer stealth models are being made and tested as we speak. 

AI can make this process simpler and safer by going back and forth with armaments and only targeting those programmed into the drone. Quick dispatches and returns can reduce the risk of being shot down and drones can be sent out instead of people. Unmanned warcraft is far safer for our guys and far safer for the nation's civilian population. Precision warfare in all of its droned beauty. Remember to not try any of this at home. There is plenty of room of accidents when arming a drone. Only use licenses professionals if you want to explore this further on your own. 

5. Badass Action Shots 

If you are an action-adventure type of person or you do action photography, drones are perfect for you. Whether you are hitting a particularly good wave and need the whole thing on video or you are a downhill skier and need that epic shot of turning the perfect bend, drones can make your life look as good as it is. 

Regular drones can get excellent photography shots and video reels of you or your client doing epic adventure shots. 

AI drones can be programmed to fly at a specific altitude, shooting the video the whole time with high-definition panoramic view so that it gets everything. AI can also be used to program your drone to follow you at a specific distance and shoot your scenes from a specific angle of elevation. This can take your photography and videography to a whole new level. 


Video Here


Want to see something totally badass and cool? The U.S. Military released a swarm of micro-drones from a jet and we get to see the footage AND the computer screen. 

6. Real Estate Beauty Shots 

More and more often, real estate agents want to show bird's eyes views of a property. This does not just include overhead, long-distance shots, but also closer, slightly overhead views of the house and buildings. This is especially needed in the luxury real estate market with the property in its vast expanse viewed from many different angles and from many different altitudes. 

Regular drones can snap a few long-distance bird's-eye view shots. This often makes the property look smaller than it is and is not as good for real estate photos, which must be ultra-high-quality and in the right proportions and distance to make the place look massive. 

AI can be adjusted to take a series of photographs from different angles, using the home as the central target on the computer map, at varying altitudes in order to get the right shot at the perfect time of day and not have to take hundreds of shots to accomplish this. 

7. Automatic Internet in Remote Areas 

Facebook is not the only company trying to bring remote-access internet to the rest of the world. Drones can now be used as temporary internet transmitters across any stretch of land in the world. 

Regular drones can hold energy in their solar cells and transmit the internet for one or two hours at a time. 

AI has made everything automatic. Drones can keep track of their own battery power and lower themselves to the charging station when they need a fill-up. AI can also automatically deploy replacement drones to fill the needs of the internet while working drones go back to their charging station to refill. 

Drones are awesome. Artificial Intelligence will take the awesomeness of drones and shoot it to new heights. You not only have your little minions flying around taking over the world for you, but you also have your computer watching carefully over them, making sure they obey your every command. What more could an evil overlord want?