It’s true that drones can be great fun to fly, but they are far from toys. Experts predict that they will have a major impact on the economies of the developed world over the next twenty years, and drones will become part of everyday life.
Drones will also bring radical changes to developing countries like Nigeria, helping to build infrastructure and deliver access to the connected world.
Hurricane Maria in Puerta Rico in 2017 was one of the turning points in the drone revolution. Around five million people living in mainland USA were unable to contact their loved ones following violent storms, and AT&T came to the rescue with the help of a tethered drone system. As emergency workers battled to restore power and deliver food and aid, drone technology was able to connect people with the outside world.
In the UK, drones are being used in agriculture, construction and insurance, and this is just to start. You can hire a drone pilot to film your wedding, inspect your roof or search for missing pets. Although current attempts at delivery by drone are mainly publicity stunts, this is likely to become a reality over the next decade. Amazon are one of the market leaders in delivery drone technology, and great strides have been made already to overcome issues like battery life and collision avoidance.
There are of course public concerns over safety and privacy, but organisations like Drone Safe Register are helping to tackle these. By educating drone pilots – both commercial and recreational – Drone Safe Register is increasing safety levels. There are a very small minority of irresponsible drone pilots who chose to ignore the rules and take risks, but regulations and enforcement are closing in.