By now, we’ve all heard stories of how commercial drones (UAVs) have been adopted by numerous industries for everything from bridge and highway inspections to monitoring and tending agricultural crops.
In a very short time, drones have gone from high-tech military hardware to a hobbyist’s play thing and, in just the last few years, have enhanced a wide range of commercial applications. Drones are now routinely used for inspections of bridges, pipelines, wind turbines, utility structures and roadways. They are serving numerous agricultural uses like monitoring crops, counting livestock, accurately deploying pesticides and addressing irrigation issues. Drones are showing up at search and rescue missions, border control surveillance operations, assessing storm damage for insurance companies, weather tracking and forecasting, and of course aerial photography for mapping, movies and news programs.
Remember that iconic opening scene in the 1965 film The Sound of Music? High above in a mountain meadow, Julie Andrews is seen walking in the field, first as a small dot, until the camera swoops in closer, closer, she twirls and suddenly she’s singing: “The hills are alive…”