5 Unconventional Drone Applications
1. Shep, the Sheep Herding Drone
What are the requirements for a shepherd dog? Large, loud, threatening, can direct sheep. If that’s the case, why not use a drone and cut costs significantly. That’s probably the reasoning behind sheep farmer Paul Brennan’s new project, Shep the Drone. Paul figured out that the loud whirring noises of a quadcopter would be enough to make a herd of sheep flee in the direction he wants them to, so using his own personal drone he made the wonderfully funny video you see above. Right now the drone requires a pilot to perform its task, which isn;t really practical, but in the future drones could have apps that let them herd sheep autonomously, instead of dogs.
2. A Drone that Moves like a Butterfly
Around here we see a lot of drones that are mean to help preserve nature, but not a lot that are meant to replicate it. German robotics company Festo designed a drone which flies like a real butterfly and is not much bigger in size. The drone weighs a mere 32 grams and uses flapping wings to stay above ground. Because it is so tiny, navigation and processing are outsourced and the tiny robotic butterflies are being tracked by cameras all around the Festo lobby. The results are visually stunning. If one doesn’t look carefully, he might think he’s looking at real butterflies.
3. Looking for Stray Dogs
Tracking stray dogs has proven a very difficult task for county administrations all around the world. The fact of the matter is that dogs simply move around and often time sleep in places which are inaccessible to humans. A new project by the World Animal Awareness Society aims to solve that problem in Houston using drones and a mobile app. Users will be able to personally tag locations where they see dogs and in the meantime, DJI Inpsire 1’s will be flying around Houston looking for strays that might otherwise have been missed by the volunteers. That’s the good part. The bad part is that the intention is to turn this into a reality show about the pilots and the process of looking for dogs. While this will drive awareness to some extent, it is also exploitation of the dogs for the purpose of getting viewership. A documentary format would be much more suitable if one truly wanted to drive compassion for the homeless pups.
4. The Star Destroyer Drone
Youtube user Olivier C deserves an award for realising the dreams of nerds all over the world. This time he comes to us with a flying replica of a Star Destroyer. Previously we’ve seen his Millenium Falcon and his Tie interceptor and every time the feeling is the same – pure bliss. Now he just needs to add some laser shooting capabilities to those copters and a new hobby for people all around the world will come to life.
5. Saving People from Drowning
Lifeguards, start getting yourselves re-qualified because drones might soon take you out of work. A project being developed on the beaches in Chile is working on creating a drone that will get to drowning victims within thirty seconds and drop a lifesaver. In comparison to the average lifeguard response time of 2 to 3 minutes, the drone could lead to many more lives being saved. Of course, dropping a lifesaver is not the ultimate solution to saving a drowning person, which is why the drone also includes a set of speakers to provide instructions and reassurance until a real lifeguard makes it to the person.
Which was your favorite applicaton? Have any better ideas? Leave them in the comments below!