The first pilotless aircraft prototype ‘Ruston Protocor Aerial Target’ which today we commonly call the drone, was built in 1916 at Royal Flying Corps of the British Army. During one century, many different models were created and last five years we are assisting to an impressive entry in the public sector, rapidly becoming an unavoidable part of it. The best example is movies and promotion video. Last year Amazon UK realized first experimental delivery to a customer. Besides videos, shopping and other developments, did you know drones are saving lives?
Several USA fire departments are using drones because they can arrive on the spot faster than the cars and with the thermal sensors, they can show where the humans are and also indicate the location the fire is the most intense, allowing saving lives and deciding of the best strategy increases the efficiency. Research made in Sweden shows after receiving a call for heart attack, the drones arrive on the spot in average 16 minutes faster than the urgency cars, bringing the defibrillator to the patient and highly increasing the chances to survive. DJI, world’s biggest drone maker announced the result of the survey underlining in 2016 drones in 18 countries saved 59 lives, making it more than one life per week. However, we do not forget that drones were sometimes the origin of the accidents caused by losing the control of the aircraft, lack of batteries or any other reasons.
We can imagine next-generation drones will have incorporated Artificial Intelligence, giving to its desired course fewer mistakes which human may make. Inaccessible places will not be anymore and different sensors and other technologies will allow a better understanding of nature and the environment, as well as people’s behaviours. As mentioned, drones arrive much faster than cars so once the regulations and safety issues would be resolved, we will certainly see it carrying humans. Self-driving automatic drones are not a science-fiction. From life-saving supplies to inaccessible areas, medical purposes, firefighting, we can imagine in the future drones will have more important role in all types of rescues as well as in the prevention. As in past hundred years, numerous new developments will create drones’ new utilisations and will certainly remain an essential tool for human evolution, bringing access to new horizons. However, we should not forget it is still, just an object.