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Drones Racing up the Industries Futures

In my last article, I discussed the history and evolution of UAVs or drones and the military use-cases. Over the past few years, there has been a paradigm shift in the adoption of drones, expansion of usage cross industries, and overall global awareness.

Drone technology is developing rapidly. Commercial entities, individuals, and governments have realized the multiple uses that UAVs or drones have, which include:

Aerial Photography for film, travel, and journalism, Shipping and Delivery, Building Surveillance for safety and inspection, Precision crop monitoring or streamlining agriculture management, Weather forecasting for tracking storm, hurricanes, and tornadoes, Wildlife Monitoring, 3D Mapping, Guided Tours, Advertising, Inventory Management, Disaster Management, Healthcare and Rescue operations, Archeological survey, Geographic Mapping, etc.

Development of hundreds of drone use-cases is underway due to investments pouring into this promising Industry as it is growing at an enormous speed. The commercial drone industry is still nascent. However, it has started to see significant investments from the industrial conglomerates, IT firms, Chip companies and the industry leaders. However, there are only a handful of early-stage drone manufacturers in the US, Asia and Europe.

In 2013, Amazon became the first organization in the world to announce their plan to use commercial drones for their delivery activities. Others followed suit since then; In 2016 Polytechnic Institute of Virginia began a test with Google's Project Wing, owner Alphabet Inc, to create delivery of burritos made by the local Chipotle restaurant. 

In the Personal Drove Industry, the market predicts a vast potential from the sale of personal drones used for photography, film-making, gaming, and recording by the tech-enthusiasts. Consumers are expected to spend $17 billion on the drones in the next few years. Drones are made in all sizes and shapes, right from small, inexpensive single rotor devices, to large $1000 and above quadcopter with GPS with first-person control and multiple camera arrays.

The integration of Internet of Things (IoT) and drones has created various use-cases for Enterprises. Right from logistics to security, to agriculture the drones and IoT offer interactivity and ubiquitous connectivity. The Future of Drone is evolving with groundbreaking and progressive transformations. "According to 'Airdronecraze', an Amazon Services affiliate has listed the following breakdowns of the UAVs or drone technology having seven generations and the majority of the current drone technology seems to sit in the fifth or sixth generation platforms."

Here is the breakdown of the drone technology generations:

1. First Gen: Basic Remote Control aircraft of all forms

2. Second Gen: Static design, fixed camera mount, video recording, still photography, and manual piloting control

3. Third Gen: Static designs, two-axis gimbals, HD video, basic safety models. assisted piloting

4. Fourth Gen: Transformative designs, Three-axis gimbals, 1080 HD video or higher value instrumentation, improved safety modes, autopilot modes.

5. Fifth Gen: Transformative designs, 360° gimbals, 4K video or higher-value instrumentation, intelligent piloting modes.

6. Sixth Gen: Commercial suitability, safety and regulatory standards-based design, platform and payload adaptability, automated safety modes, intelligent piloting models and full autonomy, airspace awareness.

7. Seventh Gen: Complete commercial suitability, fully compliant safety and regulatory standards-based design, platform and payload interchangeability, automated safety modes, enhanced intelligent piloting models and full autonomy, full airspace awareness, auto action (takeoff, land, and mission execution)

Another biggest booming market for the leaders in the drones business is the 'Racing Drones' a multibillion-dollar growing Industry in the world of sports. The Drone league has taken flight. According to the CEO - Nicholas Horbaczewski of Drone Racing League, is watching out for "the greatest drone racer on earth" who could be worth a lot of money. 

The UAVs or Drone technology has been evolving rapidly with next-gen of Gen 7 smart drones, which are already underway. Smart Drones come with inbuilt safeguards, intelligent, accurate sensors, self-monitoring and compliance tech. It is the next most significant revolution in the UAVs or drone technology that will open up new opportunities for Commercial, Industrial and other sectors. 

To summarize, the world is fast entering an era where every individual, organization, industry, and the nation will thrive on these transformational technologies such as 'UAVs or Drone, which will change the way they live, work, and communicate in this world.

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Rajashree Rao (Raj) is an Industry Thought Leader & Visionary for IoT/IIoT/Smart Cities, Digital Evangelist, Speaker, Writer, Mentor, and Entrepreneur. While Raj writes on a wide variety of subjects, her favorite topics are IoT Technologies, Digital Transformation, Leadership, Women's Empowerment, and 'Self.

Rajashree (Raj) has been in the industry for 17 years, having worked for SAP, Intel, and IBM managing diverse portfolios ranging from Consulting, Business Development, Sales to Large Enterprise Account Management, Channel Partner Management to Marketing & Communications. She has worked with Singapore Government & Public Sector accounts (incl. IMDA, LTA, A* Star, Mindef) on IoT, Smart Nation, and Smart Cities Initiatives.

Raj is a BCom Graduate (Hons.) from Jyothi Nivas College (Bangalore University) in Business Management and has a diploma in Computer Science - E-commerce. She enjoys international Travel & Nature, cooking, and is in the constant pursuit of the spiritual. She is also passionate about women’s empowerment and spends her free time working with women and women’s organization. She is a dedicated mentor who spends her time mentoring and coaching the young aspirants who come to her seeking for guidance in their personal or professional life.

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