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4 ways drones are saving lives

By Gavin Hobbs

Drones have received quite a bit of publicity and media attention since 2012, when the first consumer drone was unveiled at an electronics show in Las Vegas. Of course, the history of drones far precedes 2012, and actually begins as early as 1898, according to Fortune magazine.

Unfortunately, much of the press coverage to date has portrayed drone usefulness and usage in the military, casting these innocent and highly functional devices in a needlessly negative light.

Even now, all across the globe, drones and their handlers are quietly going about doing good and savings lives, even though in most cases the media ignores these efforts. But this is a fact and it is critical not to forget as drone technology continues to evolve and influence our generation and the next generation yet to come. In this article, learn about four key ways that uses of drones are saving lives!

Drones Are Helping First Responders Find Missing Persons

The year 2017 has been a memorable one for natural disasters around the world. From hurricanes and typhoons to tornadoes and earthquakes, wildfires and volcanoes, it sometimes seems like no part of the planet has escaped unscathed this year.

But this year has also seen the rise of drones in incredibly useful assistants to first responder! Drones can help those who are surveying storm damage, searching for missing persons, mapping safe routes in and out of a disaster zone and more. For crisis situations like this, a drone such as the Holy Stone X300C is extremely stable and reliable as an aerial assistant to first responders.

For example, USA Today reported that drones were used to aid in surveying the damage from Hurricane Harvey along the Texas Gulf Coast.

There is still much left to work out to ensure drones and manned aircraft can both fly safely without impeding each other’s efforts, but that day likely is not far away!

Drones Are Acting as First Responders in Disaster Situations

In certain situations, such as when a terrible accident blocks traffic for miles in every direction, there is only one way to get in or out of the scene: aerially.

In Canada, EMS1 reports that paramedics have been working side by side with drone ambulances to send in critical need supplies ahead of human teams.

Depending on the need, a drone may be able to bring in a life jacket, medical supplies, medication and other life-saving items far earlier than a human responder could reach those impacted by a crisis.

The same usefulness is emerging for law officers who respond to requests for assistance or criminal activity. As Police One reports, police pursuits alone endanger hundreds of lives each year.

Using drones equipped with photo and video capabilities and GPS tracking systems can help avoid preventable injuries and fatalities. They can also be an invaluable aid to officers in keeping tabs on suspects until they can be apprehended.

Drones Are Acting as Wi-Fi Hotspots to Keep People in Crisis Connected

Starting around 2014, the U.S.A. made news headlines internationally when it tasked working surveillance drones to provide Wi-Fi connectivity in remote locations. Shortly thereafter, as the BBC reported, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg launched a similar program to offer Wi-Fi connectivity to underserved regions around the world.

Many, many other organizations around the world have since followed suit, and Wi-Fi enabled drones have since provided internet access to whole communities trapped in place following weather and other disasters. Much of this effort has been fueled by the massive crash of New Orleans’ electrical grid in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 20015.

Today, this effort continues to expand, looking at other potential uses for drones to provide humanitarian relief and aid of different types depending on what the situation requires.

For example, Interesting Engineering showcases an ongoing Facebook project to send in food drones that are made entirely out of compartments to hold emergency food stores. Facebook has named its drone the Pouncer, and states that its ultimate purpose is to respond as quickly as possible to humanitarian relief needs.

Drones Are Coming to the Aid of Endangered and Poached Wildlife

A recent Mashable article highlighted the many ways that uses of drones can help critically endangered wildlife.

By flying high above inaccessible terrain, drones can help to map the landscape, track herd patterns, take a census count of different species, better understand animal lifecycle patterns and so much more.

Drones are also serving to police areas known to be vulnerable to animal poachers. These animal criminals often trespass illegally on protected territory to capture or kill endangered species for money. Even better, these drones can use data generated by mapping drones to predict where to fly to have the best chance of catching poachers before they do more damage.

Land animals are not the only beneficiaries of protective and lifesaving drone technology. Marine animals, fish, trees and plants can all benefit from the protective eyes and ears of drone technology. In some areas of the world, such as the incredibly fragile Peruvian Amazon Basin, drones are taking photos and videos of illegal logging to help shut down these damaging activities.

As these four examples highlight, uses for drones today extends far beyond military and surveillance. Drones are saving lives in crisis situations, aiding relief and humanitarian workers around the world and sometimes traveling where only a drone can go to deliver timely help.

Best of all, drones are doing a great deal of preparatory legwork to put better protections in place in the future for people, animals and natural spaces. Drones are helping meteorologists better understand weather and climate change patters. At the same time, drones are jumping into the fray to fight pollution, illegal waste dumping and improve sanitation in impacted areas.

Drones have a big job to do in the effort to save lives, and in the coming years they will likely do more and more of this work as assistants to their human counterparts.

IMAGE: Source: Deposit Photos



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