Thanks to scientists and environmentalists worldwide, the quintessential drone is getting an eco-friendly makeover. Rather than simply sticking to deliveries, these unmanned vehicles are now being put to use in various frontiers for several eco-friendly tasks. As such, here are 6 ways in which these unmanned drones can end up making an eco-friendly change on earth.
Drones assisting in Environmental Research
Drones are increasingly being used for environmental research in many countries. These eco-drones have the benefit of reaching those areas of earth that man can never set foot on himself.
For instance, a drone developed by Chris Zappa at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory is designed to fly over the Arctic and monitor the polar ice melt to observe the rate at which the ice is melting at the marginal ice zone, an area which cannot be reached by ice breakers or manned aircrafts.
Drones assisting in understanding Animal Behavior
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Drones can be used to observe the behavior of certain animals which are very hostile to man. For instance, a drone developed by Woods Hole scientists was recently used to observe the habits of great white sharks in deep waters. Following the sharks around, the drone managed to capture never before seen footage of how the great whites hunt for food.
Drones assisting in protecting Endangered Species
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society sends out a fleet of drones over the ocean every year to keep a tab on migrating pilot whales. The drones transmit real time data on the whales’ migration patterns, including details of whether they are getting too close to hunting grounds. In this case, boats are sent out by the society to drive out the whales from these areas, thus protecting the species from being hunted down.
Flying drones can also be used to keep a tab endangered species on land. These drones can easily access hard to reach areas like tree tops without disturbing the animals and their natural habitats. The drones can transmit real time information of the animals in a habitat as well as details of any hunters on the prowl nearby.
Drones assisting in Re-Forestation
Deforestation continues to plague humanity. Thanks to drones however, this issue can be turned around. Drones like the one designed by BioCarbon Engineering can be used to plant trees quickly in those areas where forests have been decimated owing to mining, lumbering, agriculture and expansion. The drones can make use of tiny cannons to shoot pods that contain germinated seeds into the ground. This can be followed by shooting cannons containing fertilizers and nutrients to support the trees as they grow.
Drones assisting in Agriculture
Drones can be a great boon for agricultural lands. Flying drones can be used to provide aerial photography of the agricultural land. The drones can also be used to monitor livestock and farmland, pointing out potential problems if any (like fires, bug infestations or undewatered areas) on a real time basis. These drones can also assist in creating digital maps of fields by flying over large farms, thus making it easier for these farmlands to be monitored.
Drones assisting in Monitoring Buildings
Drones can also be used to monitor buildings and other equipment. They can be sent to those areas that are difficult and highly dangerous for even trained personnel, including solar farms, wind turbines, cell phone towers and bridges, etc. The drones will be helpful in getting eyeballs in all the right places, thus providing essential information on issues that need to be dealt with immediately.
Drones can be used for a lot of other purposes than deliveries alone. A number of eco-drones are now being employed to help combat global warming and other environmental issues by providing real time information pertinent to the issues among other things.