Five ways commercial drones are changing our lives
Last updated January 2022
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
From home security to food delivery, drones are revolutionizing the commercial sector as they find their way into more aspects of everyday life.
Let's discover five ways drones are changing our lives.
In Sweden, Everdrone’s Emergency Medical Aeriel Delivery (EDMADE) service allows emergency dispatchers to send drones carrying the device to a caller’s home, before an ambulance arrives.
In December 2021, a drone carrying a defibrillator saved its first heart attack patient. A 71-year-old man was resuscitated by a nearby doctor after a drone flew in a defibrillator.
Currently, the EMADE service can reach 200,000 Swedish residents. There are plans to expand to more locations in Europe this year.
Uganda is using drones to deliver HIV medicine as part of a pilot programme aiming to improve the country’s transport of medical supplies. The trial is funded by Johnson & Johnson and delivers HIV drugs from a hospital to patients in Kalangala.
Researchers in the US have designed the Human Organ Monitoring and Quality Assurance Apparatus for Long-Distance Travel to conduct long-range test flights with a donor's kidney.
They found that after close to five hours of flight at up to 42mph, it was still healthy, highlighting the potential of the technology to reduce waste of life-saving organs.
2. Home security
Californian start-up Sunflower Labs has developed a drone-based monitoring system to enable home-owners to detect intruders.
Sensors disguised as garden lights are positioned around the property, and when unusual movement is detected a drone launches from the roof of the property to scan the garden, sending a live video to the owner's smartphone.
3. Sustainable farming
In Germany, agriculture is leading the field in drone deployment. A study found that 9% of the country's farmers use drones to protect the wild game from farming machinery and agricultural threats, measure the condition of soil and plants, and protect plant stock.
The study's authors believe the technology has the potential to enable more sustainable working, enhance animal welfare, and make farming more environmentally friendly.
In April 2020, Chinese drone maker XAG organised a rice seeding demonstration. Xag claims its system can use up to 90 per cent less water and 30 percent fewer chemicals than traditional techniques. It’s also more accurate. Using a tech Xag calls JetSeed, it fires seeds at up to 18 m/s. This stops wind from carrying any seeds away. Dispensing rice seeds from drones is 80 times more efficient than manual seeding.
Drone deployments and smart farming promise to make the sector cleaner and more efficient than ever.
4. Sea rescue
The Dubai coastguard's new drone, the Flying Rescuer, could make a crucial difference to individuals and groups at risk of drowning.
The drone is fitted with cameras that scan the ocean surface from above, and carries four life rings, which it flies out to swimmers in distress – or it can bring out a life raft that automatically inflates on contact with water.
5. Food delivery
Reykjavik was the first city in the world to permit widespread drone delivery. Residents of Iceland's capital – which is subdivided by a large bay and several smaller rivers, hindering the transportation of goods – can order goods via an app and have them delivered to their homes by drones fitted with a cable that gently lowers the package to the ground.
Over in Australia, Wing is aiming to deliver takeaway food, coffee, and medicines by drone to about 100 homes in Canberra after years of test flights.