The technology around us is quickly changing the world beyond our expectations as we live in the "new normal." A lot of the restrictions on drone activities have been eliminated by technology. Drones are becoming more common in daily search and rescue missions by local authorities. Drone technology has a bright future, and there are several big opportunities for it. Drone technology has evolved from its basic origins to what is more widely used now, and it will continue to do so as new applications for it emerge.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sometimes known as drones, are robots that have the ability to fly independently owing to integrated systems that use GPS, software development, and remote sensing. This combination foresees a bright future for wide usage of drones in service delivery, particularly in distant places or where humans cannot physically provide such services. Up until now, they were in their early stages, but in the future, the general adoption of these services will experience a sharp increase. Drones provide significant benefits, including increased job efficiency & productivity, decreased manufacturing costs, higher accuracy, advanced service, better customer relations, and security.

Although technological advancements have been evolving for some time, COVID 19 has sped up the pace even more. The pandemic forced individuals and organizations to change their methods of operation and behavior. The pandemic boosted the use of contactless technologies, which are altering every area of our lives, from payments and food delivery to health care.

History of Drones

Modern military drones are typically thought of as sleek, high-tech planes or quadcopters. However, drone technology was initially created by armies and inventors around the world as flying targets, torpedoes, and balloons—achievements of invention and ingenuity at the time. Although drones have been around for more than 20 years, their origins can be traced to World War I, when both France and the United States experimented on creating autonomous, unmanned warplanes. But the past few years have been remarkable in terms of drone adoption, increasing use across industries, and global awareness. Drone technology has evolved and thrived in recent years, from technologically manning key military zones to attracting hobbyists worldwide.

As we study drones and their potential, let's explore the following five sectors where drones can make a difference:

  1. Healthcare

The medical community needs to swiftly transport small medical gadgets, blood, diagnostics, laboratory tests, and medications, from point A to point B. Today's remote, unconnected communities act as a challenge since the healthcare system is inadequate to serve them. Drone delivery of medical supplies and urgently needed organ transplants will also help with better resource management of limited resources and enable just-in-time delivery to the current supply chain. Small indoor drones could eventually bring medication from the pharmacy to a patient's bedside, reducing the need for some human steps. As a result, administering medications would go more quickly and accurately.

  1. Inventory Management

For many years now, supply chains have incorporated automation. The idea of drones has evolved and begun to gain traction in recent years. The use of drones in warehouses as a substitute for human inspectors and security guards may be a smart option. They can also be utilized for intralogistics, moving components from warehouses to production lines. The most promising application for drones is inventory management. Drones can be used in inventory management for tasks including auditing inventories, cycle counting, finding specific items, taking stock, and more. The use case might actually happen in the very near future when drones will be spotted flying inside every huge warehouse due to technological advancement and their increasing intelligence.

  1. Disaster Management

Drones are used for both commercial and military purposes, but their effectiveness in assisting emergency management is unquestionable. Drones can be sent out to monitor the impacted areas during a natural disaster like an earthquake or flood. In order to locate and lead trapped people to safe areas, drones may be employed as a social rescue tool. A prime example of this is Chennai-based Garuda Aerospace, which assisted National Disaster Response Force relief and rescues efforts at the Uttarakhand site of the Chamoli glacier breach.

  1. Security and Surveillance

Military involvement was a major factor in the development of drone surveillance before it spread to the public sector with lightweight cameras and superior imagery. With the development of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, both government and non-governmental organizations have increasingly created their own drone programs to identify and counter potential security risks through remote surveillance techniques.

Emergency responders are using unmanned aerial imagery more and more often to assess dangerous situations and to help them decide on the best course of action. Successful security drone operations depend on a number of key elements, such as quick and precise communications linking, crystal-clear image quality, vehicle endurance for prolonged flying operations, and discretion.

  1. Agriculture

Drones in agriculture are creating new opportunities for farmers to increase crop productivity through improved agricultural applications and real-time information access. Drone use in several locations has already become a crucial component of extensive precision farming operations.

Market Overview

According to the report published by Growth Market Reports, the global drone market size was valued at USD 13.8 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 45.8 billion by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of around 25% during the forecast period, 2022 – 2030. The growth of the market is attributed to the increasing demand for data acquisition and analytics, aerial photography, and remote sensing. The market has been segmented on the basis of types, solutions, applications, and end-users.

  • When compared to other unmanned aerial vehicles, rotary-wing drones have a higher endurance, which is driving the rotary-wing drone segment.
  • Demand for comprehensive package solutions that cover everything from piloting & operation to data analysis, and data processing is increasing, thus boosting the end-end segment.
  • Need for quick package delivery services in the healthcare sector has increased since COVID-19 pandemic, which is propelling the transport & delivery segment.
  • Funding for the healthcare sector had augmented during the COVID pandemic for the delivery of test samples and vaccines, which fueled the healthcare & social assistance segment.

Major Players in the Drone Services Market

Key players competing in the drone services market include Unmanned Experts Inc.; Terra Drone Corporation; Sky-Futures Ltd.; Sharper Shape Inc.; Sensefly Ltd.; Prioria Robotics Holdings Inc.; Phoenix Drone Services LLC; Dronedeploy Inc.; Cyberhawk Innovations Ltd.; Airware, Inc.; and Aerobo. Some of the key players are using several market strategies such as capacity expansion, collaborations, partnerships, acquisitions, mergers, and product launches to increase their market shares. These are key aspects that will have a major impact on market expansion in the near future.

There is no denying that using drones has the potential to have a significant positive impact on society. Additionally, it is anticipated that these flying vehicles will soon be used in several industries, which will result in a large number of work possibilities for engineers and technical experts. The future of drone technology is promising with these advances, whether they are now in use or are still in the early phases of development. How we use these advancements will determine the function and significance of drone technology in our lives and society.