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Drones: What Are They Good For? April 27, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Sustainable Living.

Not just for “peeping Toms,” drones have a number of applications to improve things for the good.

Drones can be used for monitoring the health of farm fields, providing humanitarian aid, assisting first responders, conducting safety inspections of hard to reach places, surveying property damage for insurance claims, forecasting severe weather, and tracking poachers:

Drones have been a hot topic in the news for some time. Depending on what you’ve read, they’re devastatingly effective weapons of war, the next big threat to personal privacy, a revolutionary leap in video technology, or hazardous toys capable of chopping your fingers off.

To be fair, there’s a measure of truth to all those statements. But you might be surprised to learn that drones will soon affect our everyday lives in a host of useful ways. People are already using them to deliver fast food to hungry teens in Virginia, improve the productivity of Midwestern farms, and even protect rhinos and elephants in Africa from poachers.

To read more: 10 Ways Drones Are Changing Your World (Consumer Reports)

Aah . . . that’s better!



1. Kate Crimmins - April 27, 2017

and I thought they were to take pictures of naked sunbathers!

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

Nope . . . not just for Peeping Toms any more. 😀

2. Ally Bean - April 27, 2017

I want a drone of my own. I have no interest in any salacious photos of nekkid ppl. However, I want one that will take a written note to my husband explaining what he’s doing wrong. Again. Bet a message delivered by drone would get his attention!

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

You could also try using one of those robotic vacuum cleaners to deliver your “you’re doing it wrong” messages. 😀

Ally Bean - April 27, 2017

Nice idea! Could work.

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

In the movie Passengers, the guy asks the girl for a date via a robotic vacuum. Very cute.

L. Marie - April 28, 2017

Love that idea!

nrhatch - April 28, 2017

Have you seen Passengers, Linda? It’s a romantic Sci-Fi story with lots of thoughts to ponder at its conclusion.

3. Rainee - April 27, 2017

It seems that drones are the latest “must have” thing! It is hard to keep up with the rate of progress in technology. I like to try though.

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

I am not inclined to purchase a drone for my own use . . . but it’s nice to see they have so many useful applications.

4. William D'Andrea - April 27, 2017

There’s a lot of discussion about using drones for package delivery. The problem with that is, that here on Long Island where I live, almost every residential street has trees growing along the sides. Most of them have large thick limbs and branches growing stretched out over the streets, and over the front walks. That means that the majority of delivering drones would be smashed before they reached their destinations. It’s not only the trees that would be a problem. The low flying aircraft might easily smash into moving vehicles, or into windows of homes; causing who knows how much damage; along with injuries or deaths.
I think that means it’s best for everyone to leave the deliveries to the truck drivers; and the drones to the military.

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

Drones are pretty agile . . . and find it easy to maneuver around any trees, limbs, and branches in their path.

Provided that the operator is not asleep at the switch. 😀

William D'Andrea - April 27, 2017

That’s another part of the problem. Distracted piloting by whoever’s sitting at the console, wherever that may be. would the operator be held legally liable?

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

If an accident is caused by operator negligence without due regard for the safety of others, the company/operator would be legally liable.

5. Jill Weatherholt - April 27, 2017

Our A/C guy has a drone. He got some great aerial shots of our house and the neighborhood. Although they have there purpose, I don’t necessarily like the idea of drones taking jobs from humans.

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

For most of the applications in the article, it wouldn’t be feasible or advantage for a human to take the place of the drone . . . too dangerous and/or expensive.

6. colonialist - April 27, 2017

Drones are also great fun to fly — I’ve had hours of entertainment out of my tiny one.

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

Boys and their toys! Vroom. Vroom.

A neighbor flies every morning . . . before coffee. He sometimes comes home with a “limping UAV” due to an unexpected run in with a basketball backboard or tree. But I don’t think his UAV’s have a camera on board like most drones.

colonialist - April 27, 2017

I can close my fist round mine, and no camera is on board. I stick to my own territory.
A new sport may become drenching dratted drones with a water-cannon! A shotgun would be more fun, but the law might object to that.

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

Haha! I saw a youtube video of a farmer shooting a drone out of the sky with a shotgun . . . “pesky varmints!”

7. Val Boyko - April 27, 2017

I wonder what people said about the motor car when it was introduced….
Thanks for sharing a bigger perspective Nancy! (like an aerial phograph)

nrhatch - April 27, 2017

I’ve heard that people HATED the motor car because it caused their horses angst . . .


8. Debra - April 28, 2017

I see them all the time taking photos in crowds, but I didn’t know they were already being used to make deliveries. I’m sure there are misuses in our future but it will be interesting to see how many popular uses are developed, too!

nrhatch - April 28, 2017

Agreed! Every advance in technology has positive and negative applications . . . depending on who is “at the helm.”

9. L. Marie - April 28, 2017

I’ve heard about the food delivery drones. I’d love a drone of my own! The only concern I have about drones is the possible loss of jobs. Companies are already looking for ways to cut staff. This gives them more incentive.

nrhatch - April 28, 2017

Some jobs are perfect for drones & robots . . . and not so perfect for people. The robotic bartender in Passengers is fantastic!

That said, sometimes the “human touch” is just what’s needed.

L. Marie - April 28, 2017

I haven’t seen Passengers yet, but I’d like to see it.

10. Tippy Gnu - April 28, 2017

I bought a small drone a few months ago, on a whim. I found that it was good for smashing into the ceiling and walls, crashing onto the floor, losing propellers, and terrifying all of our pets. It also made a fine donation to our local thrift store.

nrhatch - April 28, 2017

Haha! I can see you fumbling away at the controls as your pets cowered in the corner. I’m sure your thrift store appreciated your generosity! 😀

11. Tiny - April 28, 2017

I was an opponent to these little machines in the beginning because they were really used as harmful toys taking pictures of people in secret and flying in the paths of air crafts…I still don’t like when one hovers right above me. But as new, useful applications have been invented, I look at them a bit differently now 🙂

nrhatch - April 28, 2017

Me too! And they better stay away from your nesting Osprey!

Tiny - April 28, 2017

That’s right!

12. livelytwist - April 28, 2017

I like the fantastic aerial shots that drones can take.
AI, drones, etc, that’s the future that is already here.

nrhatch - April 28, 2017

Yes! Hang on . . . the future is NOW!

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