The first drones were basically remote-controlled bomber planes used in the Second World War. Throughout 1960’s and 1970’s multiple governments were working on classified missions that involved Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) as a way to spy on other nations as well as a means to deploy weapons.
The use of drones has been portrayed in many popular Hollywood films such as The Bourne Legacy (2012), Body of Lies (2008) and Eagle Eye (2008). Drones have also been a popular feature in several video games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.
In the last year sales have tripled with an estimated 1,000,000 drones sold in the US alone.
So why the sudden interest in drones? What makes drones so popular? There’s a few reasons for this.
- Improved technology. Thanks to developments in science and information technology the key components have become smaller, faster, and more powerful. An important factor in designing and manufacturing drones is weight and aerodynamics. With the developments battery technology drones are able to have a longer battery life without sacrificing having to carry a heavy battery. Wi-Fi technology gives greater control options with many drones able to be operated from your tablet.
- Price. As a result of the improvements in technology over time the price has also dropped. Basic models can be purchased for as little as AUD $35.00/ USD $27.00 with mid-range products being available of only a few hundred dollars. Put this in comparison with other hobbies and it’s actually quite affordable.
- Fun. Let’s face it, who didn’t love playing with a remote control car as a kid? This is the same only better. People love remote control toys and a drone is an extension to that. Flying takes a little bit of skill and learning to do stunts and tricky manoeuvres can be quite rewarding. There’s also the ‘James Bond’ element of letting your imagination turn you into a secret spy, using your drone to deliver an important top secret package.
- Photography. Drone Photography has really taken off in recent times. Spectacular images are able to be taken from aerial view points without the expense of hiring a helicopter. Drones are able to go places that would otherwise be very difficult or dangerous for a person to reach such as cliff faces, treetops, across bodies of water, near an active volcano or into disaster zones.
- Business. Drones have a myriad of uses for commercial applications. From the military to scientific research and from media outlets to farmers there are increasing numbers of businesses utilising drones to improve their industry.
- Anti-Authority. Reverse psychology is an interesting thing. There are lobby groups against the use of drones because they are scared it will invade their privacy or that it poses a terrorism security risk. Well whenever you have someone saying that you can’t do something, you’ll have someone else doing it just because they don’t want to be told that they can’t.