The application fields involved in drones are only unexpected.

How to control equipment to find a place outside the battlefield

Over the years, UAVs have dominated the headlines of major newspapers and magazines. Countries such as the United States have used drones to monitor the Middle East and other regions and implement rapid and covert military strikes.

But there are still some drones that are rarely known. For a long time, people have used these drones to complete a variety of relatively cumbersome or dangerous sea, land and air operations. Of course, the role of drones does not stop there. Many drones can even save lives. Today, the use of drones is already widespread, including humanitarian aid.

Duke University researchers have developed a cheap drone for the wildlife conservation project in Gabon, Africa. Rangers can use it to monitor the hidden whereabouts of elephants. Michael, a senior research scientist at the Duke University Human and Independent Laboratory? Michael Clamann said: "We can use drones to get more accurate counts and keep abreast of the realities of their reproduction and hunting of prey."

In addition, drones can also be used for farming. Claman continued: "Because drones can take high-resolution photos, they can help farmers understand whether crops are growing, whether they are pest-free, or if there are other problems." With drones, The yield and quality of crops will be greatly improved. Not only that, but farmers can also quickly and effectively observe the growth of crops from high altitude. In addition, retailers such as Amazon have also developed a strong interest in drones, they hope to build a drone express team to exceed the speed of FedEx or United Parcel Service (UPS), faster Send the package to the customer.

For financiers who are passionate about high technology, they can't resist the temptation of drones. Business Insider reports that in 2015, venture capitalists invested more than $450 million in the creation of drone-related companies, four times the amount invested in 2014. At present, the total revenue of drones has broken $8 billion, and BI Intelligence expects that revenue will reach $12 billion by 2021.

In addition, in the field of entertainment, news and industrial operations, the use of drones is equally good. UAVs can accomplish tasks that humans cannot or are not suitable for, which almost gives all industries a new choice. The commercial drone operation regulations introduced by the United States represent new developments in this field. Although the Federal Aviation Administration still banned the use of drones in the commercial sector two years ago, several Hollywood studios received the Federal Aviation Administration’s immunity from this provision in 2014, and in certain movie scenarios. UAVs have been used to replace expensive helicopters, including "Wall of Wall Street" and "The Fall of the Sky".

Drones have been widely used in film production solutions. In 2014, Gifford? Gifford Hooper and Philip? Phillip George won the Oscar for Best Technical Achievement Award for his joint invention of the Helicam miniature pitch-lift camcorder. Not only that, but their joint venture, Hovercam, has also shot a lot of aerial scenes for hundreds of movies, commercials, TV shows and corporate content because of its invention of Helicam.

The use of drones by multinational companies like General Electric (GE) enables quality inspectors to manage large mechanical parts in a safer way. GE engineers set up drone procedures to hover around obstacles such as wind turbines and exhaust gas combustion flue, and then use specialized cameras to detect corrosion points or other damaged points. In addition, the images captured by the drone can also be made into a 3-D print model. At present, GE is developing autonomous robotic fleets to replace monotonous, messy or dangerous work.

News agencies also use drones to collect news. In May 2016, The New York Times published a report on Hart, a secluded cemetery near Bronx. Over the past 147 years, more than one million bodies have been buried in the city. The New York Times applied for a report on the matter, but it was rejected by New York City officials. The newspaper used drones to shoot Rikers from above and captured the scene of prisoners excavating the graves of abandoned corpses. The New York Times reported that Harte Island eventually became the home of the souls of the poor who were eliminated by the social system.

After a short period of development, the drone has quickly had a great impact on all walks of life. The following will focus on some of the smart interconnected drones that are not well-known, as well as projects that use drones to improve people's livelihoods and save lives.

The application areas involved in drones are what you don't know.

Robot rescue

When the skylights burn to a temperature sufficient to melt the metal, the local reference has also turned into ash, and it is difficult for firefighters to accurately determine their position and direction of advancement. The first responders - first-line firefighters will rush into the burning building or the raging forest fire, they do not understand the size or extent of the fire, and do not know how many people are trapped.

Drones can change this situation. A wireless mesh network is created for drones using high-tech communications processors manufactured by companies such as NXP Semiconductors. With this network, a single person is also sufficient to control the entire drone fleet, and it can help frontline firefighters keep in touch with the central command and their companions, even when multiple people simultaneously cause channel congestion or damage to the communication infrastructure. The situation is no exception.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Research Institute engineer Amy? Amy Kukulya said: "Scientists can only provide more information to policy makers and eco-environmentalists if they understand more and more about why sharks are occupying land under water."

John, vice president of marketing and communications at NXP Semiconductors According to John Dixon, communication processors used to enhance radio efficiency are mainly used in the military industry and are expensive. But they can achieve vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure communication in certain areas under extreme conditions. This means that the first responder can maintain communication between the drone and the ground vehicle or emergency helper, even if the communication with the satellite is cut off. Dickson also added that his company is developing a new propeller motor control processor that is torque enough to lift a person's weight.

After the Hurricane Katrina in 2005, two small drones appeared in Mississippi. They are responsible for searching for survivors in collapsed buildings. Robin, Director of the Robotic Assisted Search and Rescue Center and Emergency Information Center at Texas A&M University? Robin Murphy said that aerial search can greatly improve rescue efficiency.

Murphy pointed out that on-site assessment is of vital importance for controlling fires, rescuing people affected by disasters, and rebuilding after disasters, and it is also true for other disasters. Drones can help disaster response commanders and firefighters identify, manage, and master key factors in large fires or other emergencies.

The application areas involved in drones are what you don't know.

The first responder should be as fully aware of the disaster as possible, which is very helpful for disaster relief. Murphy said, "Before rescue, you should know as much as possible whether someone is trapped at the scene, whether the road has been cut, whether it is closer to the scene and other key issues." With this information, the commander can do it. A more rapid and accurate response, which reduces confusion and keeps more people out of danger.

The Austin Fire Department's Robotic Emergency Deployment (RED) team has been working with local governments and federal governments, industry, and academic experts such as Murphy to discuss robots such as drones for real-time emergency operations on land, sea, and air. The method to ensure the safety of firefighters and improve the efficiency of emergency response.

The RED team is practicing the use of drones for forest firefighting and conducting actual drills for floods, dangerous goods leaks and other emergencies. At the same time, they are also developing regulations on the use of drones, time of use and conditions of use, and plan to develop a scheduling agreement. Murphy said that in addition to being able to accurately understand the situation on the ground and obtain reliable search and rescue capabilities, another major role of drones is post-disaster reconnaissance. Post-disaster reconnaissance helps emergency managers understand the extent of damage to buildings, roads, and other infrastructure from current incidents, and identifies which resources need to be rebuilt.

This year, the National Environmental Information Center (NaTIonal Centers for Environmental InformaTIon), which tracks and evaluates climate events, reported that since 1980, the United States has suffered 196 weather and climate-related disasters with total losses of $1 billion or more. The total expenditure caused by these disasters has exceeded $1.1 trillion.

Ford Motor Connected Automotive Product Development Manager Patrick? Patrick Ellis said: "Our vision is: the first responder presses the button, the drone automatically takes off, automatically landed after completing the mission, and provides data and information flow to the manager."

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts that small drone systems will become the most growth driver in the aviation industry in the next few years. The FAA estimates that by 2020, 7 million small drones will be put into use, of which 2.7 million will serve the commercial sector.

Other rescue robots

Drone ambulance

Delk, graduate student of Delft University of Technology? A drone ambulance designed by Alec Momont can quickly deliver a defibrillator to a heart attack. Momont estimates that the current survival rate of patients with heart attack is 8%. With his drone ambulance, this survival rate can be increased to 80%. The drone's flight speed exceeds 60 mph, with a built-in webcam that allows patients or patient escorts to communicate with healthcare professionals. In the future, Momont hopes that the drone ambulance can become an aerial medical kit, which can send oxygen masks to the hands of firefighters or deliver insulin injections to diabetic patients.

Water rescue

The Los Angeles County Fire Department uses a number of remote-controlled lifeboats to patrol the Southern California coastline. Each lifeboat is equivalent to a life-saving robot. The speedboat is called "emergency integrated lifeline", referred to as "Emily". Developed by Hydrolalix of Sahuarita, Arizona, this unmanned speedboat is 4 feet long and weighs 25 pounds for search and rescue operations. The unmanned speedboat is powered by a built-in miniature electric pump that can reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour. Not only can you break through the 30-foot wave, but it can also resist the rapids. If a swimmer is trapped, Emily can fly to the trapped person and open the floating device to lift it to the surface until the rescuer arrives. Emily can be thrown from the helicopter or bridge deck to the surface to provide assistance in floods, hurricanes or other maritime disasters. It is also equipped with a camera, night rescue lights and two-way communication.

Demining drone

The United Nations estimates that as many as 110 million effective mines are still buried in the former theaters of 70 countries. This invisible killer kills 15,000 to 20,000 people every year and discourages more people.

The Hassani Design Company in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, developed the low-cost Kafon Demining Drone (MKD) for detecting and destroying mines. MKD is still in the prototyping phase, with six rotors and interchangeable robotic extension arms that can be loaded with high-resolution cameras and metal detectors, as well as grabbing detonators.

The work of drones is divided into three phases: mapping minefields, detecting mines and destroying mines. First of all, the drone carries the aerial 3D mapping system to leap into the minefield. Next, the drone hovered over the minefield and marked the mine point on the map using the robotic metal detection arm. Each detected mine will be marked and become the object to be detonated. Finally, the clamping arm projects a small timing detonator to the top of the exposed mine. After the MKD flies to the safe area, the detonator will explode the mine. According to the company, the demining speed of drones is 20 times faster than the traditional mine-clearing method, and the cost is reduced by 200 times.

Ecological drone saves the earth

UAVs have also been applied in scientific research. With drones, researchers can use a variety of instruments on a unified platform, making it possible to study topics more deeply. Woods Hole Oceanographic InsTItuTIon Marine Vehicle Operations Engineer Amy? Amy Kukulya said: "Now, we can make full use of the function of this 'military equipment' for scientists."

Most drones can be equipped with digital cameras, so researchers can look at the areas that need to be studied from above, more closely, for example, from the canopies of Sumatra and Borneo. These drones can also generate high-resolution photos and videos with appropriate software and geographic parameters for importing image recognition software to improve population count accuracy.

Ecological environmentalists also deployed drones in the water. More than a decade ago, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute began using autonomous underwater vehicles to collect information on the living habits of aquatic animals. Recently, the institute is collecting information about great white sharks. (Everyone may have seen drones on Shark Week on Discovery Channel.)

Great white shark is a carnivorous animal whose living habits have long been little known. Kukua and her team tracked the habits of great white sharks and tracked the great white sharks with drones. In 2012, Kukuya and her colleague, chief engineer Roger? Roger Stokey tracked the great white shark near Cape Cod using an autonomous underwater vehicle called the Remus SharkCam. She explained: “People use these underwater unmanned devices to perform three-dimensional tracking of large marine organisms. The images provided by humans, especially scientists and innovators, show a broader underwater world.”

Scientists installed a transponder tag on each shark. By locating and tracking this tag, the REMUS Shark Camera (Remus SharkCam) can work within a safe distance to avoid affecting the habits of sharks.

Underwater, the Remus Shark camera has a torpedo shape similar to a dolphin or yellowfin tuna, with a length of more than six feet and a weight of one hundred pounds. It accurately tracks the attached great white sharks, as close as possible to them without disturbing the sharks, carefully observes the shark's seabed activity, and collects a wealth of scientific data about its habits.

Kukuya pointed out that before the advent of Remus, shark research experts could only make assumptions about the habits of sharks based on observations on the water. For example, how do they eat, how to mate, and how to interact with the environment. She stressed: "With the Remus Shark Camera, we first observed the individual behavior of sharks at close range. Scientists can only provide more effective information if they know more about sharks occupying the ground at the bottom of the water. Policy makers and eco-environmentalists."

In 2013, when the Remus shark camera first traveled to Guadalupe Island, Mexico, it was attacked by several great white sharks. Fortunately, it was a machine rather than a human being, and the consequences were unimaginable. Although Remus was hit and bitten, it was constantly collecting information and photographing the shark attack through six cameras mounted around it. This video gives us an updated and more detailed understanding of shark hunting techniques.

The application areas involved in drones are what you don't know.

Robot outside the oasis

Monitor extreme ice melting

In the Arctic, drones have made a significant contribution to the study of climate change. They can travel below the ice to reach icebreakers and places where manned aircraft cannot reach.

Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute are using the improved Remus to monitor polar glaciers near Barrow, Alaska. According to Kukuya, the difficulty of extreme ice monitoring is the need to use powerful remote self-monitoring equipment, while ensuring that the equipment must be able to move downstream and return automatically.

Planting trees

BioCarbon Engineering, based in Oxford, England, designed an aerial drone prototype that can be planted quickly and efficiently. First, people need to make high-resolution 3D maps for an over-deforested area. The drone then uses the micro cannon to launch the seed pod to a precise position based on the map. The pods are biodegradable and contain germinating seeds and nutrients. When hitting the soil, it will rupture immediately, and the seeds inside will take root. This method is currently in the experimental stage. BioCarbon hopes to use this technology to plant 1 billion trees a year.

Keep the earth away from hunger

Today, there are still many people on the planet we live in, suffering from hunger. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that the Earth’s population will increase to 9.1 billion by 2050. It is estimated that one in nine people still have malnutrition for a long time. As the diets of residents in emerging economies gradually shift to high-sugar, high-fat, and high-protein forms, the pressure to alleviate global hunger is further increased, as pointed out by the Crawford Fund, an Australian agricultural development non-profit organization. This shift in the nutritional community model requires 100 times more resources than it can now to get enough calories and protein from livestock rather than grains.

So what will happen to human food supply and demand in 2050? The UN Food and Agriculture Organization pointed out that by then humans will need 70% more food than they do now. This requires an increase of 5% in our arable land, which means reaching 70 million hectares of land, an additional 1 billion tons of grain, 200 million tons of meat and nearly 11% of fresh water. And all these necessary resources will become even more scarce. We seem to need to increase the productivity of existing farmland to meet future food needs.

The era of agricultural drones has arrived. They can take high-resolution photos to confirm crops with pests, track crop inventory, and analyze soil. All of this work is usually done by humans in the field. Clamann of Duke University says using autonomous drones can do the job faster and more accurately. Whether or not to use a smart aircraft may determine whether it is a poor harvest or a bumper harvest.

Drones also help fight the common diseases of cattle and other livestock on the farm, increase the world's food supply, and save the lives of the hungry. For example, Spanish drone developer Embention is working with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Ethiopian Ministry of Livestock and FAO to combat trypanosomiasis. Trypanosomiasis is a parasitic disease commonly referred to as "sleeping sickness" that is transmitted by tsetse flies. It affects the physical condition of humans and livestock, and the national food supply is at risk. If left untreated, the disease can even be life-threatening.

A project called Drones Against Tsetse is testing a fully autonomous UAS system that releases 100 sterilized male tsetse flies per square kilometer of infection. Each wing of the drone has multiple chambers for placing biodegradable boxes filled with tsetse flies. These tsetse flies are mated with local tsetse flies, but because the tsetse flies that fly out of the drone are sterilized, this mating does not result in offspring. The male and female tsetse flies will gradually die, with no offspring, which will ultimately reduce the overall number of tsetse flies.

Often, to completely remove tsetse flies from the Ethiopian region, multiple fleets must be deployed to manually throw a box of male tsetse flies into the infected area. But with drones, there is no need for experienced pilots to participate, thus doing the job at a lower cost and with greater efficiency.

Other agricultural drones


A software developed by San Francisco startup DroneDeploy that allows anyone to operate a small drone and analyze the captured map using a computer or smartphone. The company specializes in industries such as agriculture, construction, inspection and insurance. Users only need to move their fingertips to fly any of the drones that have been on the market, and get pictures and 3D field models captured in the air. This technology can help users understand which crops have problems growing, predict yields, and store accurate data for later comparisons.

SenseFly launches eBee

The small SenseFly eBee drone was developed to avoid human error in crop investigations. This fixed-wing UAV can help farmers expand the scope of farmland detection, increase the speed of investigation, and collect near-infrared data to assess the growth of crops. eBee achieves a completely autonomous operation, that is, throwing and flying, collecting images, and landing on its own after completion. This drone quickly generates crop maps during the flight, identifies problem areas, customizes agricultural application maps, and creates crop processing from “UAV to tractor”. All of this work can be done in one day.

Disaster response

On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan suffered a severe earthquake and tsunami, causing reactor meltdown and radioactive material leakage. About 150,000 people were forced to evacuate from the area, taking into account the effects of radioactive fallout. According to Forbes magazine, the cleanup of nuclear power plants will take 20 years, costing 15 billion US dollars, and total compensation for refugees will exceed 60 billion US dollars. However, this is only part of the impact of nuclear power plant leaks. According to the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan has spent more than $200 billion to complete the transition from nuclear power to fossil fuel power generation. In addition, the concentrated reconstruction work brought about by the earthquake and tsunami also requires a lot of money. According to the Japan Reconstruction Bureau, the cost of reconstruction in the next five years will exceed $250 billion.

Increasing speed is the key to reducing the cost of post-disaster reconstruction. In 2015, Murphy of Texas A&M University gave a presentation on how to use rescue robots for disaster response at TEDWomen. She told the audience: "If we can advance the first response one day in advance, we can shorten the entire recovery period by 1,000 days, that is, three years." This data is unusual for reducing the damage caused by natural disasters or man-made disasters. significance.

Drones can help us achieve this goal. Murphy said in her speech: "Robots can make disasters pass faster."

Murphy pointed out that the 2011 Japanese tsunami destroyed 400 miles of coastline, twice as much as Hurricane Katrina. The tsunami destroyed bridges, pipelines and ports. Murphy said on TEDWomen: "Without a port, you can't get enough relief supplies to help the victims." Experts believe that once the port is paralyzed, it usually takes six months for divers to arrive at the scene and an additional two weeks to clean up the debris. The port can return to normal. But Murphy and her colleagues used a sea drone to get a busy fishing port back in operation in just four hours. Obviously, a slow response will hinder subsequent recovery efforts.

Murphy pointed out that drones are also used for post-disaster reconstruction. “The drone is very important for the construction engineer. The angle that can not be observed with the binoculars on the ground can be seen under the drone. In addition, the drone can also capture satellite images, and Discover higher flying objects."

Disaster relief drones will play an increasingly important role. In 2016, DJI Innovation Technology Co., Ltd. (DJI) and Ford Motor Company and the United Nations jointly held the third annual DJI Developer Contest. Patrick Ellis, Ford Motor Networking Vehicle Product Development Manager, said that the programmers who participated in the competition would use the DJI software development kit to create an application that would allow the drone to take off automatically from a moving vehicle in a specific area. Search for disaster survivors and then return to the operation of the specified base. He said, "Our vision is: the first responder presses the button, the drone automatically takes off, and automatically landed after completing the mission, while providing data and information flow to the manager." Although the drone has been used for disaster relief Years, but it is not common to take off automatically from a moving vehicle. With this technology, rescue workers can perform mobile patrols during floods, fires or earthquakes.

Teams participating in the competition must develop new communications software to ensure seamless docking between drones and vehicles during launch and landing. They can access vehicle data via the Ford SYNC AppLink or OpenXC platform. The winner will win a $100,000 prize. Ellis said the technology can be used in agriculture, construction and other outdoor industries.

The application areas involved in drones are what you don't know.

Entering a place that is difficult to get involved

UAVs can overcome complex terrain and fly over blocked roads, so they are often sent to places where the terrain is complex and difficult to reach. In April 2015, Nepal suffered a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, and numerous homes were razed to the ground, killing thousands of people. The Nepalese government quickly assessed the damage caused by the disaster and rescued the survivors. Nepal has also received medical equipment, plastic sheets, food and drinking water from international aid. The Canadian rescue team used drones in the operation.

The Toronto humanitarian organization GlobalMedic provides a fleet of three drones that use advanced on-board cameras to survey the area so that rescuers can find survivors faster. The images taken by the drone can also help rescuers understand which streets and buildings have been destroyed and provide navigation to the escorts.

The NASA Global Hawk UAV is being used to help scientists better predict the location and intensity of hurricane landings. The Global Hawk drone was originally created by Northrop? Developed by the US Air Force, Northrop Grumman is able to adapt to high-altitude, long-range and long-term flight, and is therefore included in NASA. The hurricane height does not exceed 55,000 feet at most, and the Global Hawk drone has a flying height of more than 60,000 feet, which can help scientists collect high-altitude storm data. The drone can fly for 28 hours and sail 11,000 nautical miles. Each drone is equipped with instruments to collect cloud structure, temperature, wind speed, water vapor, and other data related to tropical storms.

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