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The rise of the drones

The rise of the drones

01 Oct 2015 Simon

Wedding photoshoots, searches for missing people, pizza delivery… the use of drones for business and organisational tasks is rising all the time. Businesses in all sectors are rushing to cash in on their potential, while charities and non-profits are keep on using drones to keep costs down.

According to The Guardian, the number of drone permits granted to organisations in the UK rose 80% between January and October 2014. And that’s not taking into account the number being flown by members of the public.

In the US, drone start-ups raised $172 million in equity funding in the first five months of 2015 alone, says CB Insights – more than the previous three years combined.

One start-up is developing autonomous control software for drones. The FreeSkies CoPilot app which launched this week, will allow users to program a flight route.

FreeSkies CEO, Andy Putch, explained to CNBC: “You can have a drone, program a set route, and go and collect data in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost.”

With software like FreeSkies, the potential for drone usage appears to be limited only by imagination (and battery power).

The Superflux Lab has been working on a great research and development project called Drone Aviary that investigates the uses of civilian drones such as Madison, an advertising drone; Newsbreaker, a media drone that streams real-time news; and RouteHawk, a traffic management assistant.

If you need more evidence that drones are this year’s hot topic, then consider the UK Drone Show  in December at the NEC in Birmingham: organisers have already had to add an extra date to cope with the demand.

Oliver O’Brien, the show’s project manager, said: “Suddenly more and more businesses are realising the advantages and jumping on the bandwagon. We predict the use of commercial drone technology is going to continue to increase throughout 2016, especially with DJI, the world’s largest consumer drone manufacturer, reportedly being valued at $10 billion.”