Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology is becoming increasingly popular. Photographers use the vehicles to capture fascinating aerial images. Movie directors successfully use them in their productions as well. Popularly know as drones, they are also being utilized in modern warfare and even in education.

 

How do drones work?

 

Their flight can be controlled autonomously or by remote control. Autonomous control of the drones’ flight is made possible by on-board computer gear. In case of remote control, a pilot normally launches and brings the drone down to the ground manually. A UAV normally consists of a ground control station, specialized data-link and other pieces of support equipment other than the aircraft itself.

 

Photography

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Drones made it possible for us to take aerial photos. Many drone models already have a built in camera which is very convenient for photographers and filmmakers as well as for amateurs. Aerial photography is yet to be fully explored and in the process we will create some magnificent images. Sometimes, a change of perspective can remind us that we live in an amazing world.

 

Cinematography

 

You probably know that scene from an action movie when a guy jumps out of a window and the camera follows him all the way through until he safely lands on a conveniently placed terrace. That scene probably cost a lot. They had to build a whole stage for it to be captured on video. They also had to be very careful not to damage any expensive pieces of equipment. Drones make it possible to record a short movie, a scene or a commercial without having to spend a small fortune on it. Also, they are much more flexible to work with than cranes so the work of an artist may now truly come to life without having to be heavily influenced by the limits of technology.

 

War

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Now is the time of modern warfare and the technology of aerial vehicles proved to be successful in combat situations. Combat drones do not carry as much weight as manned aircraft and additionally, they waste less energy and fuel. Missions that are too difficult or dangerous for humans are being done by UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles). An example of such a vehicle is General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper made primarily for the US Air Force. They were used on missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Education

 

Other than commercial uses or war, drones are used to teach us something new as well. Art students will now be able to combine their footage with real data gathered by the vehicle. In schools they can be utilized for capturing sporting events or creating promotional videos for some of their programs.

 

I could imagine a geography class during which the drone flies over a river and provides students with a vivid, accurate picture of what the river looks like from above, at that very moment. This kind of learning experience would be interactive, interesting and much more effective.

 

Drones are a part of our daily lives, whether we notice it or not. New generation of aircraft is here and it is full of surprises.

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Posted by Howard Bell

Howard has been writing about technology for quite some time now, especially if you count his diary entries where he laments the pressing programming issues hiding behind the painfully obvious lack of the long blocks in Tetris (also known as the ‘stupid game is cheating’ bug). He has since refined his approach, trying to take a slightly more impartial and a bit more informative voice, but still finds inspiration in the ways that different devices can annoy him to wit’s end.

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