We have all seen the great aerial video and heard about package and food delivery by drones for years now, but things are about to get very real with drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as they are more technically known.
The 3 ingredients that are leading to the explosive, and creative use of drones are all in place, starting with the legal landscape.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued new rules known as Part 107. UAV pilots are being licensed by the thousands, with a flood of new pilots coming in the months ahead. Safer and better trained pilots that the FAA is already allowing to operate with few safe flight requests being denied. The FAA seems committed to integrating drones into the system, they really don’t have much choice. The genie is definitely out of the bottle and the benefits could be tremendous.
The second part of the equation, technology, is getting more sophisticated by the day. Sophisticated collision avoidance systems are already available on reasonably priced consumer drones. Electric motors are inherently able to provide significant power instantly. Drones are already able to pull surfers through the water on their boards, and anything else you want to ride from a skateboard to a snow ski. Scaling drones up to provide more lift or thrust is just a matter of engineering and battery life.
The third ingredient is imagination. When it comes to Action Sports in particular, imagination is not likely to be in short supply, as we’ve already seen with drone surfing.
Many people and companies have been experimenting with UAVs for a few years now, and the pay offs are starting to be seen. Drones for sports are being built right now with more power, ease of use, and ruggedness. The possibilities seem limitless. Want to ski in a great place with no lifts? A new generation more powerful drone will pull you back up the slope. No waves to surf? No problem. Who needs a boat to wake board or water ski when a drone can pull you with no other humans needed for a few pennies of electricity.
For now we’ll concentrate on the upside of drones, the downsides are sure to be many. That’s for another day.