Surprising ways of using drones (that could soon become a reality!)

There are curious pilots, excited engineers and even unsuspecting innovators realising new uses for drones every day. However, while dreams of drone deliveries, wildlife conservation drones and flying firefighters are becoming a reality, this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are many more exotic and wonderful drone discoveries yet to come over the years, we’ve no doubt about that. However, the mystery lies in the specific tasks these drone will actually be performing. Here, we take a look at some of the more unusual possibilities, offering an insight of where drones could be headed (and who is already taking them there!)

Shelf stacking in shops
Soon, rather than asking for personal assistance in a shop we may be turning to drones to ask for help reaching that product or fetching that extra size. Walmart is leading this move and has recently applied for a patent, highlighting its plans to use drones to move products inside its shops. Using the drones indoors and in such close proximity to the general public is sure to bring with it some regulatory loopholes, however, we can’t say we’re not excited by this concept!

Fire breathing machines
Yes – really! Drones could be taking on the role of modern-day dragons if this Chinese innovation catches on. In Xiangyang, fire ‘breathing’ drones are being used to burn off waste that is stuck on high-voltage electrical wires. Going where no drone has gone before, these powerful drones are safely removing debris in areas that are too hard or dangerous for humans to reach, even with ladders and other structures to help them.

Changing lightbulbs
Last year, the classic ‘how many does it take to change a lightbulb’ joke took on new, technological heights as a drone was used to do just that! While the theory was admirable, in practice the quadcopter used was not as successful at the task as the operator had hoped. With lots of shattered glass and eight light bulbs sacrificed, a drone did eventually change the bulb. Perhaps with a lot more testing, the drone could soon be used to complete similar household tasks.

Transporting people
UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are, by their name, operated without the physical presence of a pilot. But while they are still operated remotely, drones could soon be used as automated public transport. E-volo wants to do just that and has developed a drone named the ‘Volocopter’ that can carry two passengers. This application could soon be a reality, and next year it has been granted a permit to use its vehicle as a flying taxi as part of a special project.

How else do you think drones could be used? Have you seen any surprising developments? Share your opinions with us on social media!