Although they were initially associated with military or recreational use, drones are increasingly being used in various sectors, thanks to their ability to increase efficiency and reduce costs. In fact, billions of dollars have been invested in recent years in ventures associated with these teams and the trend continues to rise.
To know a little more in detail what are the applications that are currently being given to drones in different commercial sectors and what is the future that holds, we have prepared this interesting article.
The advance of commercial drones
Initially developed as a low cost alternative to military operations, until a few years ago the drone industry was still emerging and very underdeveloped. it was hard to imagine the possibility of having a small manned aircraft at home without a human on board and less use it for commercial purposes.
But the market developed very quickly and these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) became used not only as entertainment equipment but also as a powerful tool to increase efficiency in commercial operations.
While it is possible to find drones with different sizes and shapes on the market, they all have, in essence, the same main elements: structure, battery, motor, sensors and propellers.
At present, it is estimated that the global market of solutions that use drones moves around 127 billion dollars and its applications cover sectors as diverse as energy, agriculture and audiovisual.
The use of these equipment in traditional commercial activities is due to the fact that they have been shown to be a fundamental element for reducing costs (economic, ecological and human) and increasing efficiency in operations. Thus, the drones managed to open a whole range of opportunities in the business world.
Data analysis in power lines
One of the sectors that has shown the most dynamism in the use of drones is energy. And this equipment has proven to be especially useful for inspections in hard-to-reach areas, high-rise areas or contaminated spaces.
Energy companies use this technology to carry out monitoring activities with a considerable reduction in time and costs compared to traditional inspection methods.
These equipments are also used to perform aerial analysis of electrical networks, as well as to identify points at which energy is not adequately transmitted in solar panels, through thermal imaging cameras.
Inspection and maintenance of communication antennas
In the same way, the telecommunications sector has been greatly favored with the use of drones in its operational tasks. Companies use these unmanned vehicles to carry out frequent inspections of communication towers, collecting data through images and videos.
The use of this type of aircraft has been key in the prevention of occupational accidents, reducing the risk of incidents by not having to send workers to perform inspection work on high altitude antennas.
Drones also allow real-time tower inspections to be carried out, automatically detecting and labeling high-voltage equipment and using artificial intelligence to establish where to focus on inspection efforts.
Fast deliveries in remote areas
For its part, the transport sector has also been one of the most active in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for the optimization of its operations; and it is that the drones allow to solve logistical questions at a very low cost.
A few months ago, the e-commerce giant Amazon presented the latest version of Prime Air, its drone for hybrid design deliveries, which is capable of taking off and landing vertically, in the same way that a helicopter does.
Other companies have also begun to use drones for the distribution of their products, being a very useful technology for deliveries in remote areas or difficult to access, such as islands or oil rigs.
Maximization in crop yield
The agricultural sector is another of those favored by raising their productivity with the use of drones. These equipment are used in agriculture for soil analysis, through highly accurate 3D maps that allow sowing planning.
Agricultural companies have managed to significantly reduce their planting costs thanks to drones, by using this equipment to sow seeds with nutrients remotely and in a focused way.
These equipments are essential in precision agriculture since they allow to manage agricultural hectares in an optimal way, using the technology to establish aspects such as the density of the land, quantity of inputs or the prediction of the yield.
Benefit of drones in other productive sectors
There are other sectors that have also optimized their processes with the use of drones. In the miner, for example, potential areas are being mapped to a fraction of what the cost represents using helicopters.
In addition, drones are widely used to establish communication routes between different mining operators, exchange reports and receive information on the progress made in the operations carried out.
Finally, drinking water service companies are replacing the use of satellites by drones to monitor water quality, as well as for the assessment of damage in case of natural disasters.
Drones controlled by algorithms 24 hours a day and swarm intelligence, which allows artificial intelligence to be used to carry out activities between hundreds of drones at the same time as birds do when working together, are two of the most immediate applications of this technology in the different sectors of the economy.
In this way, we can imagine all the potential that drones have to offer in the optimization of operations and in the development of new businesses.