What is a drone:
A drone is any unmanned vehicle, that can be controlled by humans. People normally think drones are always based on helicopter designs. However automated land vehicles and automated underwater submarines also count as drones. The word drone originated from the military.
RQ-4 Global Hawk:
A famous drone is the RQ-4 Global Hawk it is one of the biggest military drones in the world. It has a wingspan of over 35m, and is over 13m long. It can travel at speeds up to 391 mph, with a maximum altitude of18 km high (as high as a Concorde)! It is hard to believe that this is completely unmanned.
Some other drones:
Drones can also include £20 small toys that can be flown by kids. There are many crazy and clever ideas for drones. Rutgers School of Engineering is developing a drone that can fly and swim. Military forces are buying drones for land, air and sea. Unmanned ground vehicles (land drones) are also used by the military and some are as basic as automated guns mounted on automated caterpillar tracks. Even a robotic bee is being invented, it’s a small drone with the job of spreading pollen between flowers. Drones that squirt out ink are being developed and are hopefully going to be able to paint surfaces in the future.
Uses of drones:
But what will drones be used for in the future? There are many ideas including package delivery, fast food delivery, marine research, searching ship wrecks, postal deliveries, bridge and building inspections (or any hard to access structures – even offshore), construction work, search and rescue, medical aid, fertilising fields, surveying wildlife (or anything really), fighting fires, following criminals (for the police) and much more. A lot of these applications are already happening. Undoubtedly many more that humans haven’t even thought about, will happen in the future.