UAVs to be used for campus tours, ‘drug busts’ and Amazon deliveries
The potential future applications of UAV technology are incredibly diverse. Whether they’re assisting with conservation projects or spying on international football teams, the prospective benefits of UAVs across a variety of industries are finally being recognised.
Here are 3 examples of how UAVs might be utilised in the future:
(1) UAVs act as guides for university campus tours
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the SENSEable city lab has developed a UAV capable taking visitors on tours around the university’s campus.
Once they’ve arrived on campus, MIT families can use an app called ‘SkyCall’ to summon a UAV, and then instruct it on where they would like to go. The mini copter is equipped with GPS and an onboard camera, allowing it to navigate the university grounds with extreme precision. It is also capable of following requests such as making detours, pausing to hover in one place, describing landmarks and recognising when its user is falling behind.
(2) U.S. Coast Guard achieves ‘drug bust’ using UAV technology
The U.S. Coast Guard recently used their UAV ‘ScanEagle’ to spy upon a sea vessel suspected of drug smuggling – the boat was then detained and over half-a-ton of cocaine was confiscated.
Lieutenant Commander Jeff Vajda said ScanEagle was essential to the operation, as the UAV was needed to ‘maintain visual surveillance of the target until a cutter was able to get out and interdict the vessel.’ The Coast Guard’s long-term plan is for unmanned aircrafts to permanently replace the majority of manned vessels doing offshore patrols.
(3) Amazon Prime plans for UAV delivery service
This topic has already been covered on the totallyunmanned blog; Amazon have announced plans to deliver packages under 5 lb to their customers using unmanned aerial vehicles.
These UAVs, referred to as ‘Prime Air Vehicles’, could make same-day or even same-hour deliveries a reality. This project has encountered a lot of contention, but if SkyCall UAVs are already successfully navigating MIT’s campus, why couldn’t the same be done in towns and even large cities?
If you delve further into this blog, you’ll see that this post only scrapes the surface of what UAVs are capable of. Can you suggest any other innovative applications for UAVs that haven’t been thought of yet?
To find out more about UAVs, then register now for your free ticket to The Commercial UAV show, an exhibition taking place in London on the 21-22 October 2014.