Drones are mostly used as data gatherers. They collect data that is impossible or difficult to collect without them. This data is mostly in the form of video, image, and LiDAR. However, they can collect other forms of data too depending on the kinds of sensors they’re equipped with.
With the increase in the usage of drones a new sector of data analytics has emerged, drone data analytics. Many software consultancy firms in India are now offering data management solutions and services to manage and analyze data captured by drones. Technological advancements and business opportunities are further helping the drone sector and the drone data analytics sector grow.
Birth of Drone Analytics
Drones have been in use especially for military purposes since the first world war in 1914. But today’s drones are very different. They are smaller, can be controlled more precisely, and more importantly, they are employed in diverse sectors beyond military purposes. What has brought the sudden increase in drone usage?
With advancements in communications, electronics, and software technologies, sensors have become advanced and shrunk in size too. These sensors can be placed in drones to collect large amounts of data and transfer it to base controlling stations.
So, basically, drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles equipped with sensors are being used as data collection systems.
How Does Data Analytics Define the Scope and Future of Drones?
Drones are rather simple flying objects that can be controlled from the ground remotely. What makes them special is the data they can provide us and how we use the data. For example, drones with cameras can provide high-resolution aerial video and image content. Such drones can be used in agriculture to monitor crops, in defence for surveys, by the police for surveillance, and in many more ways. Drones equipped with thermal and pressure sensors can provide weather-related data that can be quite helpful in predicting natural disasters, crop planning, etc.
Data Analytics deals with processing data to extract useful information from it. With 5G technologies, it is much easier for drones to communicate and transfer data. Humans or advanced machines intervene to take appropriate decisions based on the information. However, with advancements in the latest technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, soon drones would become more actionable. They can use analyzed data to take appropriate action without any human intervention.
Here’s an example. During the pandemic, some governments used drones to survey roads and check if people are gathering in public spaces. Once the drone visuals are analyzed, a human usually takes the action. A police officer may go there to disperse crowds and instruct people to go back to their homes. Suppose a drone is programmed to automatically give an audio instruction upon detecting people and moving objects! Such drones are actionable and artificially intelligent.
Which Industries benefit from Drone Data Analytics?
Drones are being widely used in many sectors like agriculture, surveillance, defence, mining, disaster management, urban and rural planning and administration, construction, insurance, etc. Any business that collects large amounts of data using drones need to employ drone data analytics methods to make sense of the data and take informed decisions. Many software solutions are already being used to structure drone collected data into sensible information and help drone users gain meaningful insights. The solutions use deep learning techniques that are based on huge data sets of high-quality images fed into drones. The drone data analytics solutions built on deep learning and machine learning algorithms cater to companies across verticals.
Here are some of the benefits of drone data analysis in various sectors.
- Drones provide live images and videos and help track the progress of projects
- When used to compare collected data with existing records, drone data analysis can be used in detection systems. They predict natural disasters, identify safety hazards, etc.
- With advancements in communication systems, drones and drone software are used to streamline reporting.
- Drone data can be used to monitor compliance throughout a specific period.
- Drone data analytics provide information on people or material movement. Such parameters can be accurately measured.
- Data collected by drones can complement existing data and provide innovative solutions.
Will Drones make Human Employment in some sectors Redundant?
In 2019, Zomato successfully tested drones for delivering parcels. According to the latest news, Amazon will soon launch Prime Air, a drone delivery service, to deliver Amazon parcels to its customers in Lockeford, California, in the US. Many think that drones will soon replace delivery personnel and take away their jobs.
Also read: Drones and Drone Technology: The most asked questions about drones in India https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/drones-and-drone-technology-the-most-asked-questions-about-drones-in-india/
We at National Skills Network, have been following advancements in the drone sector for a long time. We believe drones will create more jobs than they take away. However, many of these jobs like drone pilot, drone assembly, and drone data analysts are skill-based. To take up these new jobs in high demand, aspirants should avail themselves of the skilling and upskilling opportunities. In our previous posts, we already wrote about skilling and employment opportunities in the sector.
So, are you ready to enter the drone and drone data analytics sector and climb up your career ladder?