By now, we’re all familiar with delivery drones. They’re great! You get your package (or even your pizza) much sooner, and everyone’s happy. Outside of deliveries, there are tons of things that drones are doing where the whole world benefits. Drones can be used to do dangerous or nearly impossible aspects of everyday jobs with more accuracy and efficiency than ever before.
Crop dusting isn’t a glamorous job, but someone needs to do it. Large fields of produce and grains need to be coated with a variety of things, from nutrients to insecticides. Doing the job from low flying planes has been deemed dangerous time and time again, so this labor is being passed off to unmanned drones. Japan was the first country to adopt the technology, and everyone else is following suit.
Flying a news helicopter over a raging wildfire, through a blizzard, or above a tsunami can be dangerous. News outlets need this footage to show the public what’s going on, but it comes at great risk to the pilots and reporters who cover these stories. By using unmanned drones, these shots are obtained at little to no risk. A drone is replaceable in the event of a disaster, but a human life is not.
Poaching is a huge problem in many areas of the world. People who hunt elephants for ivory or sharks for fins are massively upsetting the ecosystem. Since these are black market trades, the people who participate in these jobs are often armed and violent. Drones can spot high poaching areas and provide the necessary surveillance to put an end to these practices.
It’s relatively easy to find a job inspecting plumbing or electricity, and for the most part, these jobs are hard. They aren’t always dangerous, but they can be if a technician is trapped near a downed live wire or encounters a flood in a narrow space. Now, we can use exploratory drones to find and address problems with public infrastructure.
When someone seems to have been kidnapped, especially when that person is a young, elderly, or at risk, everyone needs to move fast. People can only cover so much area on foot, and a helicopter is generally flown too far above the ground to be able to get a close glimpse in dense areas. Drones expand the search region easily. They can go through narrow alleyways and beneath tree canopies, helping increase the chances of locating a missing person in a timely manner.
Nobody wants to think about the fact that we live in a world where explosions and war are rampant. Drones are often used to explore areas that are too dangerous for humans to explore, finding injured or trapped people in war zones. Soldiers and innocent bystanders who have found themselves in danger can be located via drone and retrieved by rescue teams.
Before an architect can create a plan to restore a damaged building, that building needs to be inspected. Buildings that are significantly damaged or otherwise not up to code are often deemed unsafe to enter. By sending in a drone, architects and contractors can make note of the damage. If it’s safe to enter and repair, they’ll know. If it isn’t safe to enter, they’ll prepare to demolish the existing structure and erect a new one.
If you want to work with drones but delivery doesn’t seem to be a fascinating career opportunity, you have plenty of options. Many important and sometimes life-saving jobs rely on drones, and you can be the person running the show.
Elizabeth Lee is a blogger with great love for gadgets. She is particularly interested in how new technologies can be used to help businesses grow and expand. Feel free to follow Elizabeth on @LElizabethLee86.