Drones, otherwise known as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Oftentimes, people ask, “What defines a drone?” Drones are essentially flying robots that can carry out tasks that are small to the most extreme. Drones can be used for a wide range of tasks, including assisting in the rescue of victims in a hurricane disaster zone or even dropping off a package at your front doorstep.
These robot-like aircrafts were originally designed for the military and aerospace industries, but recently, they have become more common for other purposes due to the level of safety and efficiency that they provide. Drones operate without a pilot on board and reap the benefits of having different levels of autonomy. They can be remotely controlled (a human controls its movements) or even through advanced autonomy, which means that the drone relies on a system of sensors and LIDAR detectors that determine its movement.
There are many different types of drones out there that vary in their height and distance capabilities. There are drones that are meant for very close-range distances, which generally are able to travel up to three miles and are mostly used by hobbyists. Close-range drones usually have a range of about 30 miles. There are other types of drones, known as short-range drones, which can travel up to 90 miles and are usually used for surveillance and intelligence purposes. Mid-range drones have up to a 400-mile distance that can be used for a variety of matters, including intelligence purposes, scientific research, and meteorological research. Lastly, long-range drones are known as “endurance” UAVs, as they can travel up to a 400-mile range and reach up to 3,000 feet in the air.
Because drones can be flown remotely, they are known for taking on some of the toughest jobs in the world. This can include assisting in the search for survivors after a hurricane, avalanche, or other natural disasters, they provide law enforcement and military with an eye-in-the-sky, or they can even provide advanced scientific research in some of the extreme climates. But it doesn’t stop there--drones have even made their way into our homes, for photography and videography purposes, and serve great entertainment for hobbyists. Whatever the case is, drones have certainly revolutionized our lives in many different ways. For those wondering, “what does a drone do?”--hopefully, this blog can give you a better understanding of the many purposes it provides.
Types of Drones
There are different types of drones out there and each serves different purposes.
Single Rotor Helicopters: Single rotor helicopters look much like miniature helicopters and can be gas or electric-powered. Because these are single blade drones, it helps with stability and gives the ability to fly long distances. Single rotor helicopters are typically used for transporting heavier items, as well as LIDAR systems that are used to examine land, storms, and more.
Multi-Rotor Drones: Multi-rotor drones are the most light-weight and smallest drones on the market. In addition, they have less mileage, speed, and can only reach shorter heights and are mostly ideal for aerial photographers and hobbyists. These types of drones can usually spend about 20-30 minutes in the air while carrying a lightweight load, such as a camera.
Fixed Wing Drones: Fixed wings drones look much like airplanes. The wings on the drones provide the lift instead of the rotors, which makes them very well-structured. Fixed wing drones usually use fuel to operate, which makes it easier to travel for more than 16 hours. Because these drones are much larger than the other types of drones, they do need to take off and land on runways just like airplanes. These types of drones are used by the military, scientists, and even by organizations to carry large amounts of food to hard-to-reach places.
What’s a Drone and How is it Used?
Drones are used for a wide range of purposes, from small to extreme tasks. Drones have certainly revolutionized our lives, as they have the ability to serve different purposes, including:
- Military and law enforcement purposes
- Emergency rescue
- Outer space
- Wildlife and historical conservation
- Providing medical supplies
- Aerial photography and videography
Whatever the case is, drones can be used for many different purposes. The great thing about them is that they can be used as a hobby or professionally. Drones can be flown for commercial, public safety, recreational, or even educational purposes. In fact, when it comes to commercial, public safety, or educational purposes, drones have proven to show a much safer and efficient method of transportation. Whether it’s for delivering medicine or supplies to areas that are hard to reach, taking a closer look at wildlife, assisting in emergency situations, or whatever the case may be, drones have proven to be extremely beneficial to many different industries.