Drone in a technological term is used to describe a flying robot that can be remotely controlled or flown autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS. It serve a variety of purpose ranging from photography, mapping, flight and navigation. They require a controller who launches, navigates and lands it. Drones can be equipped with a number of sensors including distance sensor, time of flight sensor among others.
Flying robots were originally built for the military purpose which originally used as weapons, they were initially called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) innovated in the early 1900s used for controlling and sustaining a level of the flight being powered by a jet, providing a target for training and military personnel. The earliest recorded use of UAV dates back to 1944 when the Austrians attacked the Italian city of Venice using unmanned balloons that were loaded with explosives. They were initially used for anti-aircraft target practice, intelligence gathering and then broadly used as weapons. But as of today, drones are seen to be used for a wide range of roles ranging from search and rescue, surveillance, weather monitoring, commercial, scientific and recreational purposes.
They can be controlled remotely, often from a smartphone or through wireless connectivity. The users pre-program specific GPS coordinate and create an automated flight path which are mostly controlled manually by humans. It has built-in cameras that allow the pilot to see where the drone is flying, rely on rotors for its vertical motion which allow the pilot to increase speed, and also consist of accelerometer which feeds the drone information about its speed and directions.
There are different types of drones according to their purpose but the 4 major types of drones are Multi Rotor drones, Fixed Wing drones, Single Rotor Helicopter and Fixed Wing Hybrid VTOL.
The Multi-Rotor drones are the most common types of drones are being used by professionals, they are mostly used for aerial photography, aerial video surveillance. They are the easiest to manufacture and the cheapest option available.
The Fixed Wing drones are entirely different, they use a ‘wing’ like structure, unlike the Multi Rotor, they move forward as they are set by the guide control possibly by a human. You just take them to an open area and fly them, they are mostly used for surveillance and survey.
The Single Rotor looks similar to the structure of a helicopter and unlike the first two drones stated, they are very much efficient and have flying times and can the powered by a gas engine but can be very expensive.
The latter HYBRID VTOL can be used as combining the benefit of Fixed-wing model, they can be remotely based or even programmed manually.
Already there are several industries that are using drones for a wide range of purposes but one of the biggest risks is the interference of radio frequency or crowded skies resulting in loss of control and in worst cases fatalities.
They work well in the right conditions but they are limited by internal and environmental factors.
The first limitation of drones is their flying time, most drones have a maximum speed of 30mph which restrict their use to weather with a wind speed of less than 20mph.
It is not recommended to fly drone’s drones in rain, snow or even in drizzles. Drones are mostly also associated with fire risk and are known to spontaneously catch fire while charging.
The uses of drones are in diverse activities and the applications areas of drones are limitless. They are produced according to the industry speculation and presently has an increasing demand.
Drones are equipped with a sensor or thermal cameras which can measure and monitor various landscapes, track weather, surveying, aerial photography, adaptability of application, flexibility and operations and helps to gather and deliver samples, supplies to remote or otherwise unreachable areas.
They can be used as a research tool in getting information and above the ability to reach inaccessible places.
With government and private entities opting for the application of drones in their respective fields for key operation, many believe that the growth and success of drones just began.