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  • Hello. My name is Ben Lovegrove and I used to own a drone aerial photography business.

  • In this video I'm going to give my answer to the question "What Are Drones Used For"

  • and list 31 uses for flying drones and UAV.

  • Drones or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are being employed in ever increasing areas of

  • life. Apart from the fact that they are small, light, and maneuverable drones have many other

  • uses. If the task is dull, dirty, or dangerous then it makes far more sense to send in a

  • drone.

  • It seems barely a week goes by without new uses for drones being imagined and realised.

  • So here is my list. If you can think of any I've missed then please add a comment under

  • this video.

  • 1. Aerial Photography

  • If there’s one thing most people consider when they think of uses for drones it is aerial

  • photography. It’s a huge field with lots of spin-offs and niche areas. It’s the basis

  • of the whole civil UAV industry and the entry point for most, if not all, drone pilots.

  • Drone aerial photography and filming is an industry and a service in itself.

  • 2. Film and TV Footage

  • Film and TV companies were very quick to take advantage of the burgeoning drone technology.

  • They tend to have larger budgets for new equipment and the latest gadgets. The footage and shots

  • achievable from hexacopters and octocopters carrying broadcast grade cameras have proved

  • they justify the investment.

  • Perhaps you can remember that most aerial shots on TV dramas and documentaries were

  • either created using a camera boom or captured from the helicopter. Now, drone footage is

  • commonplace and while booms and helicopters still have their uses the new aerial footage

  • has added much to these programs.

  • 3. Aerial Mapping

  • There was a time when Google Earth and Google Maps was the state of the art but there is

  • so much more to do with mapping the planet’s surface. Drones designed and equipped for

  • mapping and programmed to fly in grid patterns are slowly building up a very detailed picture

  • of our home planet.

  • 4. Archaeological Digs & Research

  • It's long been known that aerial photos can reveal clues about the history hidden in the

  • landscape. Some sites are only fully appreciated from the air. You only have to think of the

  • Nazca plains in Peru. One of the many uses for drones is in the field of archaeological

  • research.

  • Time, weather, and budget can prohibit the use of manned aircraft at a site but a quick

  • scan of the area from 300 feet using a small drone can be like switching on a light. Suddenly

  • all is revealed and made clear.

  • 5. Filming Marine Wildlife

  • No doubt youve seen in the press or on social media those spectacular shots of pods

  • of whales or a mother and calf, shot from a few hundred feet. It has given us a view

  • that was denied to most of us a few years ago.

  • Apart from the spectacle there are all kinds of research advantages enabled by the use

  • of drones at sea. Drones can be launched from the shore but the real benefits are out on

  • the open ocean.

  • However, drone pilots at sea need to have particularly good handling and navigation

  • skills. There are few options for emergency landings and even if youve flown the UAV

  • back to base you may have to land it on a moving vessel. Some have learned the hard

  • way that this is not easy and watched as their precious drone lands not safely on deck but

  • in the water.

  • 6. Filming Land Wildlife

  • The earth’s wildlife provides an endless source of joy and wonder. In order to observe

  • it at close quarters without causing any disturbance film and TV companies have devised all kinds

  • of cams; rock cam, dung cam, log cam etc. They all work well up to a point but there

  • is no substitute for aerial shots and the bird’s eye view.

  • Sometimes sufficient aerial footage is achieved by flying just a few feet off the ground.

  • Not all herds need to be filmed top-down from the overhead. You can mix such clips up with

  • drone footage captured around the subject at a height only just above it.

  • 7. Anti Poaching

  • The only disappointing aspect to wildlife documentaries is that they frequently include

  • references to the damage done by humans to wildlife habitat. For the larger mammals of

  • Africa and other continents there is also the ugly reality of poaching.

  • Drones are now being used in the fight against poachers - and it is a fight for these men

  • are armed and dangerous. A drone that can pick up tracks or even follow suspects is

  • the ideal tool for the job. It’s quieter and cheaper than a helicopter and being unmanned

  • there is no risk of anyone being shot by poachers alerted to its presence.

  • 8. Environmental and Meteorological Monitoring

  • High and medium altitude drones that fly autonomously for days on end are circling the earth and

  • gathering data on the weather and the environment.

  • 9. Police Work

  • The Police Service has made good use of drone technology. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints

  • the amount of use varies from county to county in the UK. A DJI Phantom or Inspire in the

  • back of a patrol car can be quickly sent up to film or photograph the scene of a car accident.

  • The savings in time spent on site by the officers could be significant, not to mention the delays

  • and frustrations caused to motorists while the road or lane is closed.

  • 10. Search and Rescue

  • The ability of drones see from viewpoints denied to crew on foot makes them ideal allies

  • during search and rescue missions. When people are lost, injured, or in distress it is not

  • always possible to send in a SAR helicopter. The location and the weather may rule out

  • any manned aerial vehicle. Rescuers arriving on the scene can use unmanned aviation to

  • asses the situation and to direct rescuers on foot.

  • 11. Property Photography

  • This is one of the aerial photography niche areas mentioned in the opening paragraph of

  • this post. Estate agents have been quick to take up drone filming in order to help promote

  • and sell property. The ability to display particularly large properties with acres of

  • garden or pasture has tempted buyers to make the journey and to close sales.

  • 12. Domestic Roof Inspections

  • Storm damage, debris, blocked gutters, leaks in the upstairs rooms - all these are a source

  • of worry to householders and landlords. Ladders are risky and scaffolding costs can rapidly

  • escalate.

  • Far better to send up a drone to inspect the roof. The video footage can be kept for review

  • or forwarded on to other contractors. With one clever device youve eliminated the

  • risk of ladders and avoided the costs of scaffolding.

  • Youve also prevented yourself from being defrauded by a roofing contractor quoting

  • for unnecessary work.

  • 13. Industrial Roof Inspections

  • If you can do it for homes you can also do it for factories and industrial units. It’s

  • only a matter of scale. With large industrial complexes there are huge benefits in terms

  • of cost savings and the lessening of risk to humans through physical inspection of hard

  • to reach areas.

  • 14. Planning Inspections

  • Local government inspectors are always keen to find new ways to improve efficiency and

  • making their funds go further. Well, that’s the theory at least. Drones can be used to

  • check that new buildings, extensions, and other work is in compliance with local planning

  • laws.

  • 15. Solar Park Inspections

  • There has been a boom in the building of solar parks in the UK countryside in the past few

  • years. They have appeared in all kinds of places, on farmland and abandoned airfields.

  • They cover large areas with thousands of panels. To inspect them all on foot for damaged or

  • inoperative PV cells is a labour intensive task so one of the uses for drones is to scan

  • them row by row. With the correct type of camera it is possible to identify any malfunctioning

  • cell.

  • 16. Environmental Compliance Inspections

  • How can you tell if the farm, factory, or industrial area is compliant with local environmental

  • laws and rulings? Inspections on foot are one option but the bird's eye view of a UAV

  • will capture the conclusive evidence and exonerate those who might be under suspicion on non-compliance.

  • 17. Drone Deliveries

  • Most people have heard of this one. Amazon are now conducting tests at a secret location

  • in the UK. However, I think were still a long way from the really important stuff

  • like delivery of beer and pizza.

  • 18. Disaster Relief

  • In areas devastated by wars and natural disasters it becomes essential to know what roads are

  • open and what bridges are intact. Disaster relief agencies and military personnel can

  • use drones to quickly gather information while the expensive and less numerous helicopters

  • and land vehicles load up with supplies.

  • Time is short and the sooner they have created an accurate map of the situation the more

  • quickly and efficiently they can deliver supplies to where they are most needed.

  • 19. Emergency Medical Supplies

  • In poorer countries where roads are dust in the summer and impassable mud in the rainy

  • season people die for want of basic medicines. Drones can be used to deliver small payloads

  • of medicines to remote villages.

  • 20. News Filming

  • The news helicopters will continue to fly for years to come but there are many instances

  • where a drone is the better tool for the job. Consider outside broadcast units at an event

  • or situation that would benefit from an aerial shot but where the presence of a helicopter

  • would be disruptive or dangerous.

  • 21. Sports Filming

  • With the arrival on the market of drones that follow an individual it’s now possible to

  • obtain footage of, for example, skiers, cyclists, skateboarders, surfers and all kinds of sports

  • in ways that were impossible before developments in UAS technology.

  • 22. Pipeline and Power Line Inspection

  • UAV can be designed and modified to carry out any task that is dull, dirty, or dangerous.

  • Pipeline and power line inspection fall into at least one of those categories. It’s a

  • lot more cost effective to conduct a preliminary inspection remotely before sending out the

  • crew by helicopter or by land transport.

  • 23. Tunnel Inspection

  • Did you see the footage of the Crossrail tunnels on the news just after they had completed

  • the main sections underneath London? They sent a drone through them to show what they

  • had achieved. The tunnels are very large so flying a drone within them is not difficult

  • but UAV could also be used to inspect smaller tunnels.

  • 24. Precision Agriculture With Fixed Wing UAV

  • Agriculture is one of the biggest growth areas for fixed wing drones. Farmers have found

  • all kinds of uses for them and have been quick to employ these robotic friends to help improve

  • yields and for more effective pest and disease control.

  • UAV can pinpoint breakouts of pests and disease within a specific area. The treatment can

  • then be applied directly on to that area alone instead of the entire field. This enables

  • a huge saving on the cost of treatment as there is far less wasted spraying. It’s

  • a sort of agricultural surgical strike.

  • 25. Advertising And Promotional Videos

  • There are countless ways in which drone video services can be used to help satisfy the never

  • ending demand for more advertising and promotional videos. Whether youre filming an ad for

  • a new car or creating a music video drones are part of your marketing toolbox.

  • 26. Weddings, Parties, Events

  • Wedding photographers were among the first to capitalise on the potential offered by

  • the new aerial cameras. They offer an edge that can win new business in a competitive

  • market. Anyyone planning a wedding wants to be certain that the event is filmed and photographed

  • in as much detail as possible so that they can relive the experience and pass on the

  • memories.

  • 27. Drone Racing And VR

  • This is an area that is generating a lot interest. Obviously it appeals more to the younger adults

  • and teenagers but like all games of this type anyone of any age can play. Combining drone

  • racing with VR makes it accessible to all, regardless of age or ability.

  • 28. Making Art With Drones

  • Artists are often quick to spot the potential of new technology as a tool that will enable

  • new ways of expression. A swarm (flock?) of drones each with one light or several, flying

  • in formation or moving like a murmuration of starlings can produce dramatic and eerie

  • effects.

  • 29. Aircraft Inspection

  • So youve got an Airbus A380 in a corner of the airport and you need to inspect it

  • from nose to tail. What better way than to fly an aerial camera along its length.

  • 30. Internet Access

  • There are many who yearn to join our connected world and to add their devices to the internet

  • of things. High flying UAV can extend the internet to remote areas where the land based

  • infrastructure is basic and incomplete.

  • 31. Military Drones

  • Lastly, there is warfare. It’s a controversial topic that generates heated debate but whatever

  • the legal and moral implications there are distinct benefits from using armed and unarmed

  • UAV on the battlefield. There are micro drones that can fly round a corner, over a wall,

  • and into a building. There are fixed wing and rotary drones that can be quickly launched

  • on the battlefield to provide intelligence on enemy movements and positions.

  • Then there are the more well known armed drone that can launch missiles at targets so remotely

  • that the unfortunate victims are probably unaware of their impending doom.

  • Thanks for watching! I hope you found this interesting and usefulPlease give the video

  • a thumbs up, share it, and add a comment below.  Did I miss any uses for drones?

Hello. My name is Ben Lovegrove and I used to own a drone aerial photography business.

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B2 UK drone aerial footage inspection photography filming

What Are Drones Used For? 31 Uses For Flying Drones and UAV. From Aerial Photography to Warfare

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