A decade ago, UAVs were considered mainly a preserve of military units and a few hardcore civilian enthusiasts.
Modern drones are lighter, smaller, more affordable, and unbelievably feature packed.
This innovation, coupled with rising demand for drones in just about every sector, has led to some exciting, and sometimes crazy, uses of a drone.
1. Parcel deliveries
What service could upstage Amazon Prime’s same-day delivery?
The e-commerce giant recently announced its drone delivery service could go live in months.
At launch, the helicopter-airplane hybrid with a 15-mile range is expected to deliver packages within 30 minutes.
It will also use cutting edge AI technology to avoid obstacles that have traditionally been hard for drones to spot.
These include powerlines, clotheslines, and wires that run across backyards.
Wing Aviation LLC, an offshoot of Google, recently received clearance from the FAA to start routine deliveries using drones.
Flirtey is another startup that promises to deliver medicine and e-commerce products to consumers in minutes.
Traditional couriers like UPS and FedEx are also studying drone delivery, as are postal corporations around the world.
Parcel drone delivery by drone may not be precisely crazy, but if you have experienced the long wait times for a UPS Ground delivery, a delivery time of 30 minutes is exciting.
2. Ambulance Drone
While traditional ambulances try their best to save lives, they don’t always arrive on time.
Ambulance drones are an innovation that promises to deliver crucial medication to needy patients.
For years, The Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology has been at the forefront of researching on this exciting field.
Its drone ambulance prototype is a flying toolbox capable of delivering essential medical equipment such as defibrillators.
Other than cardiac arrest victims, future iterations will cater to patients suffering from medical issues, including diabetes and respiratory illnesses.
3. Monitoring extreme weather conditions
Drones are better at monitoring weather patterns because they can fly to various locations and collect critical data.
This makes them more useful than fixed meteorological equipment. Modern drones are equipped to measure humidity, temperature, air pressure, wind speed, and other weather-related variables.
They’ve made it easier to better understand hurricanes, floods, droughts, ice storms, and volcanic eruptions.
Due to constant improvement, they’re now able to withstand strong winds and extreme temperatures.
Advanced equipment such as laser cameras, 3D mapping technology, and highly accurate GPS technology make data collection more precise.
This not only enables a wholesome view of weather patterns but also makes it easier to predict their effects.
Due to the most exciting and crazy uses of a drone, they will soon become a regular part of a construction crew.
Indeed, there are already companies experimenting with using drones in construction.
The Swiss Institute for Dynamic Systems is involved in a project that is testing the practicality and benefits of robotic aerial construction systems.
In this video, you can see two drones building an experimental 24foot rope bridge.
In the video, the autonomous drones coordinate amazingly well and fly effortlessly through tight spaces.
The resulting rope bridge is capable of holding a person’s weight as you can see at the end of the video.
In the future, drones could do a lot more things to speed up construction, reduce construction costs, and improve safety at construction sites.
5. Window cleaning
Instead of sending humans hundreds of feet up skyscrapers, why not just fly a drone to clean the windows?
There’s already a company called Aerones that specializes in making window-cleaning drones.
See for yourself how it works.
6. Wildlife conservation
Anti-poaching efforts all over the world received a massive boost with the introduction of drones.
Conservationists are now able to do aerial surveys and look out for any signs of intruders.
Powerful cameras and 3D mapping solutions can identify changes in the landscape, pick poachers’ tracks, and follow their movements.
7. Drone journalism
Just like smartphones, UAVs have been a gamechanger in the field of journalism.
In the past, news reporters weren’t always readily available to cover breaking news.
Today, drones can relay any information in real-time. They can show the aftermath of floods, earthquakes, building collapses, and other disasters.
Live events such as riots, concerts, and sports shows are also increasingly being relayed by UAVs.
Other than providing unique angles to events, they also keep reporters safe.
Whether working as professional or citizen journalists, you don’t have to be in the thick of things to get a juicy scoop.
8. Sky taxis
Move over Uber; there’s a new taxi-hailing service in town. Specifically an air-taxi service.
Drones are more famous for being uncrewed aerial vehicles, but that doesn’t mean they’ll altogether avoid human cargo.
In 2017 Dubai unveiled a two-seater, 18-rotor drone known as the Volocopter.
Although the first public demonstration lasted 5 minutes, future rides are expected to take up to 30 minutes.
Users will be able to hail them through apps as they do with vehicles conveniently.
With serious competitors such as Airbus, KittyHawk, and Uber, we’re guaranteed to witness some exciting developments in this particular field.
9. Extreme sports
As if some sports are not hair raising enough, some adrenaline junkies have found ways of making them even more intense. Such activities include kiting, skateboarding, surfing, rappelling, paragliding, and base jumping.
Incorporating drones with cameras to capture distinctive footage makes these events even more exciting.
Think you are a pro at flying your drone?
Test your skills against some of the best drone racers in the world. There are plenty of crazy uses of a drone, including the racing competitions, both local and international.
Just be warned, drone racing requires an incredible level of skill that takes years of practice. Here’s a taste.