NEW YORK — Unmanned aerial vehicles have been used for safety, photography, security, and many other applications since their first use in the form of hot air balloons in the mid-1800s. Today, drones are having a major impact on the way we do business—from war reconnaissance and real estate marketing, to film production and inventory tracking.
For example, General Motors uses drones to inspect its facilities to safely monitor the inventory of its production batches in two to three hours, while manual inspections on the ground can take eight to 12 hours. These inspections can also be carried out without shutting down the facility completely, and without the risk of lifting people into the air or into orbit.
Additionally, on the military battlefield, drones are playing an increasingly important role in providing critical real-time intelligence and reconnaissance data for tactical advantage. Pre-mission mapping, target surveillance, and combat damage assessment are just some of the benefits drones provide on the battlefield without the additional risk to human soldiers.
A growing number of industries are harnessing the technology’s potential to speed up protocols, provide safer working conditions and reduce disruption. To meet this growing demand, the number of drones registered in the United States is 865,505 and counting, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, along with 280,418 certified remote pilots.
“Given the many critical uses of drone technology, we are working to ensure that drones provide faster, more versatile, uninterrupted footage that can be obtained using safer teleoperation technologies,” said CEO of leading supplier Red Cat Holdings Or drone-based products, services, and solutions, says officer Jeff Thompson.
One of the latest innovations in drone technology that Thompson sees is the ability to fly a drone from almost anywhere in the world using just an internet connection from a cell phone near the drone. The ability to inspect infrastructure, equipment, structures, land areas and job sites using only drones and pilots hundreds or even thousands of miles apart has resulted in significant efficiencies, including reduced personnel and significantly reduced inspection times.
Another innovation? The possibility to operate four drones on a single controller to provide actionable footage at once. Red Cat Holdings’ four-drone “swarm” marks the first fully operational multi-drone system to enter the market. Red Cat’s 4-Ship product allows the control of up to four Golden Eagle units from Red Cat subsidiary Teal, and additional link controllers help transfer control from one pilot to another. The new product has the potential to provide continuous 360-degree surveillance of targets, with up to four drones controlled by a single pilot. To learn more or to book, visit redcatholdings.com.
From municipal traffic monitoring to personal recreational use, drones are changing and improving lives. And, thanks to advancements in their design, they are becoming better, faster, and more useful tools in more and more applications and industries.