More Drone NonsensePosted: December 12, 2014
Just having a tool/toy in hand makes you thought wander of the possibilities. After flying the iris+, taking some video in my local neighborhood, and watching other videos people are taking, I believe this whole flying sensor platform thing is going to be quite transformative. Here are some more thoughts on what might likely come;
Surveillance – of course, but since these things are so cheap and easy, it’s not just going to be the state watching the citizenry. In fact, the state may lag behind due to various restrictions, such as budget, laws, and the like. Just imagine that everything will be filmed and listended to by someone.
Everyting else is a form of surveillanace in one form or another.
Animal tracking – As a child I watched Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kindom. Marklin Perkins set things up, and Jim Fowler jumped out of the truck to tag the wild rhino. Well, with a drone, you could just sneak up on the animals from a distance, blow a tracking dart into them, and be done with it. Not so sexy for the insurance salesmen, but easier for the animal trackers.
Agriculture – another no brainer. You want to survey the fields. Fly a pattern, send pictures back to something that can make sense of them. Dispatch robot machinery to fix problems. I’m no aggie, but it must be pretty difficult to inspect what’s going on in a field that covers hundreds our thousands of acres. With a drone, or a few, you could do cameras, take simple soil samples, and the like, send data to some processor, and do your analysis.
Mapping – Another no brainer. Google has spent years trying to perfect the whole mapping thing. Multi-camera rigs worn by intrepid mappers, cars with roof mounted thingies, and the like. But, technology stands still for no technological dream. Take you van equipped with 20 drones, park it in the center of town, and within an hour, you no doubt can do the job that a self driving car would have done in a few days. The drones can no only do the street view, but they can do the view up to 100ft as well, pretty easily. They can track the wifi hot spots, and all the other fun things google has gotten into trouble for. It doesn’t take a large company, or a monsterous outlay of cash to implement this one either. I could easily imagine local companies getting in on the act, promoting the intricacy of their maps, or the timeliness.
Sports – When I was in college, I met this guy who with his father, invented that camera system that zips around sports stadiums. That has provided quite a nice view on the playing field from above. With drones, you could assign a drone per player, and have them zipping around constantly, filming from interesting angles. I, as a viewer, could setup my tv viewing to watch the 2 or 3 camera views that I prefer. Always watch the quarterback, wide receiver, safety, the ball, or the hot dog vendor… Of course there would have to be automated air traffic control so the drones don’t knock into each other, but that’s a sure bit of software that must be developed anyway. Ad hoc localized air traffic management for drones.
Some things are autonomous, some things require interaction. The possibilities are fairly limitless at this point.