Most innovative uses for drones

By Nell Walker
Last month, a New Zealandbranch of Dominos began preparations to become the firstpizza takeaway service to offer drones as a delivery method. The piz...

Last month, a New Zealand branch of Domino’s began preparations to become the first pizza takeaway service to offer drones as a delivery method.

 

The pizza giant conducted a demonstration in August. Why New Zealand? With its small population and relatively flat landscape, the nation was one of the first to allow commercial drone deliveries where many other countries still struggle against prohibitive airspace rules.

While Domino’s is confident that drone delivery will become a regular service, the rule that drones must be kept in sight at all times could still prove restrictive, unless this changes.

Drone delivery in the United States is now legal, provided the machines do not cross state lines or over people. Until then, here are some of the novel uses for drones currently occurring or being planned in the rest of the world.

Amazon Prime Air

In June this year, Amazon announced that it would team up with the UK government to test small delivery drones with the view to take orders weighing less than five pounds directly to customers in less than 30 minutes. The service is not yet operational, but Amazon is confident that it will become used worldwide.

DHL

DHL was an early player in drone delivery. Earlier this year, it completed a three month trial of its Parcelcopter, which successfully undertook 130 autonomous delivery procedures in varying conditions. The Parcelcopter is set to become commonplace for DHL.

Shell

The oil giant is using drones to in some of the biggest energy plants in Europe, since the sector is so high-risk. Many accidents have potentially been avoided thanks to this innovation.

Park rangers in Africa

A drone has been developed which can catch poachers in African national parks using thermal vision technology.

Television companies

Various TV companies are attempting to utilise drones for filming – however, this hasn’t always worked out well. BBC journalists have previously been questioned after breaching safety protocols, and three Al Jazeera reporters were arrested when their drone was spotted trespassing.

 

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