Thanks to technology, man has been able to reach places that he would never have imagined, such as space, the moon, other planets, etc. This has made possible not only the delight and recreation of him, but has also made possible the study of the unknown in order to broaden his knowledge in different fields of life.
Technology has broadened the perspective of human beings and has made them see that there is still a universe to explore, which can be approached in different ways. There is no single way of doing things. There is also altitude, depth and width, so all possibilities must be considered.
An instrument that has made it possible for man to have new perspectives is the drone. Have you heard of this artifact? Probably yes. In a short time, he has become a great ally of surveyors, photographers, architects and other professionals.
This is because it is capable of reaching places where those who manipulate it cannot reach, thus becoming its eyes and giving it a much broader vision of the things around it.
This tool brings man one step closer to the future, since, previously, the possibility of being able to manipulate an unmanned, remote-controlled vehicle, as if it were a game, was unthinkable.
However, the truth is that this type of technology goes beyond a simple game that brings fun. The drone has many uses and facilitates the work of many areas. Would you like to get to know him more closely? If so, you have come to the right place.
In this opportunity I will share with you what a drone is and what it is not. Likewise, you will also learn what it is used for and how many types of drones currently exist.
Have you ever manipulated a toy airplane via remote control as a child? Probably yes. In such a case, you are more familiar than you think with the concept of the drone.
A drone is nothing more than an unmanned aerial vehicle that has the ability to autonomously maintain a controlled and sustained level of flight. Some are called quad copters, sexcopters, and octacopters, depending on how many propellers they have. It is controlled via remote control and rises using the turning force of its motors, attached to the propellers.
Despite what you may think, the idea of the drone is not new. In fact, they already existed in the 1920s, only their design and control possibilities were very different from those of today. Nowadays they are lighter, more miniaturized in structure and components, etc. This means that there are a large number of models.
How does it work?
Its operation is very similar to that of an airplane or a helicopter. The motors and fins go into motion to make flight possible. Then this is directed through control commands, which will depend largely on the knowledge and skill of the person who pilots it.
There are models that allow you to set the course automatically. These have a GPS that makes it possible to correct the flight and adjust it until it reaches the programmed destination.
In general, they are used to make cyclic observation rounds, without the need for a pilot to control it. The person will be able to observe everything that the camera collects, information that can be sent in real time, but that can also be recorded, depending on the case and the needs of the user.
Now, if the idea of having your own drone seems great to you, this idea can materialize after you know what it is for.
What do you need
In fact, drones are instruments that have great potential in different work areas, since they have the ability to move quickly on irregular or rough terrain. In addition, it overcomes any obstacle and offers bird’s-eye views, thanks to the equipment it can carry, such as cameras, sensors, etc.
In order to use them effectively, you must select the type of drone and the appropriate sensors, depending on what you want to use it for and the type of data you want to collect on each of the flights.
Some of the uses of drones are as follows:
- Infrastructure inspection. This is one of the fields where unmanned aerial vehicles are used. Mainly, for the cost savings that derive from the ease with which the infrastructure is accessed and, secondly, due to the reduction of risk for the personnel.
- Civil works. Thanks to their high-resolution cameras, it is possible to carry out topographic surveys, as well as different three-dimensional models, which facilitate the production of plans, the analysis of the evolution of the work, the calculation of the volumes of the land that has been extracted etc.
- In the environment. Since many are equipped with thermal imaging cameras, they are able to provide a very comprehensive view of the state of a landfill. It also shows hot spots, wet spots and much more. It can fly over large areas of vegetation and facilitates its maintenance.
- On the roads. Using a drone to analyze the viaducts closest to a road is much cheaper than sending a helicopter and safer than taking down specialized personnel.
- At airports. At present, there are already air traffic control and security projects on airport runways. There is a drone in the form of a predator, which has been able to reduce the number of birds on a runway by up to 74%, which represents a considerable reduction in the airport’s operating costs.
In addition to all of the above, you need to know that there are different types of drones. Each one has specific characteristics and fulfills a certain function. Keeping this in mind will help you decide which one will be most useful to you.
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There are different types of drones. Depending on their use, there are:
- They range from toys to those that are used for commercial use, such as making photographic reports, videos, etc.
- In this category it is possible to find drones for children’s use, which are those that have been manufactured for indoor flight and those for amateur use, that is, for those people with more expertise and interest in the use of these devices.
- Military. They are termed as combat drones. However, they are not only used for combat. They are also used to supply provisions in places that are difficult to access, to find traces of human life in the rubble, to examine the land in search of missing persons, etc.
- Taking into account their types of wings, there are also drones:
- Rotary wing. This is the most popular type of drone. It is used both at leisure and professional level. They are also known by the name of multi-rotors and are very versatile, as they allow the installation of different types of cameras and have the ability to take off and land vertically.
- Fixed wing. They have the ability to take advantage of the air and generate a force that allows them to stay in the air taking advantage of their aerodynamics; this makes a single battery last a long time. However, they cannot maintain flight over a certain point or perform or take off autonomously.
- Also, depending on the medium in which they move, there are sea, air and land. And, depending on the control method, you can find them autonomous, remotely controlled and supervised or monitored. Each one will have a more or less optimal operation, depending on the use you want to give it.
Tanner AbrahamData Scientist and Software Engineer with a focus on experimental projects in new budding technologies that incorporate machine learning and quantum computing into web applications.
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