Posted by Indusa Admin on July 16, 2015 7:51 am
A whole new world is on the verge of taking off as more and more practical uses for enterprise drones are discovered every day. Not too long ago, when people heard the term “drones,” they considered it as a gadget used solely for military purposes. But Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or drones, have come a long way. Similar to computers, jeeps, and GPS, drones were originally introduced for the military but have made their way into civilian life. Today they are being used in a number of civil applications – farmers, retailers, filmmakers, and even firefighters are starting to use drones.
Since Indusa works with enterprises, we compiled existing, innovative business uses for drones:
Shipping, transportation, and logistics: Companies like Domino’s and Amazon have been talking about drone delivery for years; shipping companies FedEx and UPS are also looking into them. With unpredictable travel times and customers demanding faster delivery, drones could very well be the future of shipping.
Agriculture: According to Fortune, agricultural drone use has the potential to help with water and disease management. Drones will also help create better planting and crop rotation strategies by providing better observation and care of crops over larger areas.
Manufacturing: Qimarox, a material-handling company based in the Netherlands, is studying the use of drones indoors. “Because of capacity and ergonomic limitations, using people to stack goods on pallets is no longer an option for most manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods,” said Jaco Hooijer, Qimarox’s operational manager, while speaking to Manufacturing Transformation. “Using drones, they can fully automate the palletizing process while retaining the much greater level of flexibility and scalability entailed when using people.” Drones can also be used for monitoring the infrastructure of warehouses, yards, docks, and pipelines – helping businesses stay up to date with their operations and status. By delivering machines and tools within an organization and streamlining their operations, drones can also help manufacture and deliver products just-in-time.
Another potential use of enterprise drones aligns with the Internet of Things (IoT). By connecting drones to sensors and servers, businesses can use them to transmit data about their organization. For example, a drone connected to IoT would be able to optimize inventory management by performing regular inventory checks. The data from these checks could then be transmitted through a series of systems, cataloguing which items were out-of-stock and ordering them to be replenished. Such tasks would streamline the entire supply chain process.
Though the popularity of enterprise drones is snowballing, there are certain concerns that need to be addressed:
- Regulation and control: Effective rules for border security would need to be determined by regulatory authorities before drones can be widely adopted.
- Crowded airspace: When drones become widespread, they will be sharing airspace with airplanes and helicopters; this will create the need for additional traffic regulations.
- Safety concerns: Due to technical snags, enterprise drones might face the risk of failing in mid-air. If a drone crashes, it could damage people and property.
- Privacy concerns: Drones containing cameras or sensors could be abused for illegal or unethical surveillance procedures.
- Public awareness: Since drones were originally created for military use, the public needs to be well informed about their civilian uses in order to prevent fear and confusion.
In spite of these challenges, the future of drones looks promising. With businesses and industries already investing in this fledgling technology, enterprise drones are set to transform the logistics landscape.
About the Author – Manan Thakkar
Manan Thakkar is a Solution Architect who spearheads&Indusa’s strategic initiatives to maximize customer benefits. His expertise is in enterprise consulting and solution design globally and he plays a key role in institutionalizing mobility to position Indusa’s services in leading enterprises.