The first known aerial photograph was taken in 1858 by French photographer and balloonist, Gaspard Felix Tournachon. The photograph depicted the French village of Petit-Becetre, captured from a tethered hot-air balloon, 262 ft. (80 meters) above ground. Since this historical accomplishment, aerial photography has come a long way. Not only has the task become safer for man, also easier, even ground-braking.
The advance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, allowed the world to think of new ways to perform common tasks. From delivering packages across city in under fifteen minutes, providing first aid assistance, only minutes after accident, to planting entire fields, contributing to a new range of shots for cinema and live TV. We have been experiencing the benefits of the drone era, without even realizing it.
For example, BioCarbon Engineering a United Kingdom based company plans on fighting deforestation by using drones to plant industrial-scale fields. To achieve this, the drone, firing a pre-germinated seed pod into the soil with pressurized air. Company aims to plant around 1 billion trees per year.
Delft University of Technology in Netherland developed a prototype drone for medical use. Hospitals will be able to deploy First Aid Drones. Arriving before any ambulance, this drone provides the tools for any civilian to perform first aid. Equipped with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), medication and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) aids. In the European Union around 800.000 people per year suffer from a cardiac arrest, only 8% survive the accident. Main reason is the slow response time of emergency services (average of 10 minutes). By taking advantage of drone’s high-speed flight capabilities and autopilot features, Delft University plans to decrease this high-number of casualties.
The way we watch sports changed. The 360º aerial shots we have come to grow familiar with, are achieved by using high-end professional quadcopters. It is common to see drones recording football or soccer games and broadcast them live on TV and Internet streams. Aerial Vortex a Los Angeles based company is specialist in recording aerial shots requested for movies and advertisements. Latest accomplishment is a car stunt recorded using a drone, for the TV Show “The Player”.
The industry has realized the potential of such machinery and our life is adapting to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles faster than we can be aware of. Drones are not only for professional use. A new niche has emerged in the market, affordable and yet powerful drones are available to the regular costumer. 3D Robotics, a drone manufacturer estimates that at least 500.000 drones have already been sold in the United States alone. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates domestic drone sales will top a total of $90 billion within a decade. Generating around 100.000 jobs in the U.S. Official Rich Swayze from Federal Aviation Administration speculated around one more million drones will be sold by Christmas 2015. . The features and specifications of most recent drones are outstanding, there is so much for customers to account for. GPS systems, quality camera, payload, autopilot modes, speed, endurance, among many other important factors. A quick browse through the Internet will unveil sites such as our site, which guide new hobbyists and enthusiasts on their first steps into this technology. Internet drone related e-shops and blogs are becoming common. Five years ago it would sound insane to own a commercial UAV and be able to fly it perfectly. Today, such idea, not only is possible, it is popular.
The main objective of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is to facilitate and avoid the risk of human life’s piloting aircrafts, making it safer and more accurate. However, being a new piece of tech as it is, it may arouse some safety doubts. Countries are taking their time in studying how the legislation should approach this matter. United States, for example, as limited the flying speed to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) and the altitude to 500 feet (152 meters) above ground level.
The big concern around drone technology are the combat aircrafts, the truth is they indeed exist. Countries have been developing their own military drones, as the world seems to realize the potential of this type of unmanned warfare. In north England, BAE Systems Company has been building an unmanned stealth jet named Taranis, to be part of Britain’s defense crafts. Dassault Aviation, in France, tests Neuron a project of a six nation collaboration. Europe Union does not want to fall behind US technological advances, as drones are the premise of a new generation of warfare.
As radio, TV, computers and Internet, society is learning how to work alongside this new era of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles technology. One thing is for sure, science-fiction movies are one step closer to predict reality, as UAVs take on the skies and reshape our industry, healthcare, cinema and military. A future in which men populate the sky with unmanned machinery. Another small step for man but a giant leap for mankind.