Top 5 Uses for Commercial Drones

There are still many people who are wary about drones in general, not only because they cannot yet shake off  its association with ‘killer’ drones used by the military in war zones, but also due to the attention given to the potential safety and privacy risks the use of drones poses. However, let us not be deterred from appreciating the advantages of using them, – as a hobby, or for commercial purposes.  Thus, here are top uses for commercial drones:

1. Aerial Photography – This is the most common use of drones for hobbyists, and this area offers a wide range of purposes too for entrepreneurs, such as Westchester Aerial Photography in New York.  Breathtaking, stunning, incredible footage taken by aerial drones provide viewers with unique perspectives of scenery, landscapes and real estate properties.

Real estate agencies can use this UAV for aerial shoots of sprawling rural estates. Car dealers can use them for aerial footage of their vehicles winding through the streets of New York. Farmers can quickly view the whole of their properties. Paparazzi can hover over a pool party at a celebrity’s house. Surveyors can quickly document the whole of a property. Landscapers’ jobs are made considerably easier. Energy companies can scout out locations. Event organizers can use the UAVs to discretely monitor concerts for overcrowding and fights. Read more at:

Although drones have been around for awhile, the technology has not yet been widely used in the surveying and remote sensing professions. But it soon will be, thanks to the advent of practical, lightweight lithium polymer batteries, low-cost drone technology, lightweight digital cameras and advances in close-range oblique aerial photography—all of which make the future of drones in land surveying exciting. Read more at

2. Lifesaving activities – Commercial drones are going to impact life-saving missions and disaster reliefs.

a) Matternet (a company founded by Andreas Raptopoulos, an entrepreneur who has big visions for the future of drones and their potential to do good)  sees a future in which drones could deliver medicine and humanitarian aid to these otherwise unreachable areas. They could transport blood tests, collect tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS diagnostics, and allow diagnoses to be made in an efficient way. Andreas told me (Katie Couric) that while driving to isolated villages could take a day or longer, a drone could travel the same distance in less than 30 minutes. See more at

b) Aerial search for lost persons is extremely costly with traditional fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Small, highly maneuverable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV or Drone) may aid and support search efforts in many situations for a fraction of the cost in risk, and resources. One drone can search an extensive area in minutes that might take an entire group of ground personnel to cover in hours. Read more here

3. Delivery – Commercial drones are seen to change the way goods and products are going to be delivered to customers.

Drones could allow businesses to deliver products to customers without having to send (or even hire) a driver. Most notably, Amazon announced a drone delivery initiative that resulted in an FAA standoff.  See here

Countries outside the U.S. have already started using or testing  pizza delivery drones, such as Russia, United Kingdom and India.

4. Journalism- Drones can play a big role in news gathering and dissemination especially in times of disasters.

“You can provide people in the affected area and outside of it a much greater perspective on just the scope and scale of the disaster,” says Matt Waite, who started and leads the at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. When he opened it, it was the first drone journalism lab in the world. “The real frontier for drones in journalism is going to be through investigative and explanatory reporting — using them to gather data,” Waite says.  Read more at

5. Agriculture – Drones have been helping farmers grow their crops.

“It is endless right now, the applications in agriculture,” said Kevin Price, a former professor at Kansas State who left the university this month to join RoboFlight, a Denver-based company that sells drones and analyzes the data collected on corn, soybean and other field crops. Farmers “are going to be able to see things and monitor their crops in ways they never have before. In the next 10 years almost every farm will be using it.” Read more here

Drones can provide farmers with three types of detailed views. First, seeing a crop from the air can reveal patterns that expose everything from irrigation problems to soil variation and even pest and fungal infestations that aren’t apparent at eye level. Second, airborne cameras can take multispectral images, capturing data from the infrared as well as the visual spectrum, which can be combined to create a view of the crop that highlights differences between healthy and distressed plants in a way that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Finally, a drone can survey a crop every week, every day, or even every hour. Combined to create a time-series animation, that imagery can show changes in the crop, revealing trouble spots or opportunities for better crop management. Read more

These are just the top 5 main uses among many other potential use for commercial drones, but until the FAA gives its official clearance for these drones to take off, the commercial drone industry, expected to create thousands of jobs and reap billions of dollar, will helplessly remain at a standstill.


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