There‘s More to Drones Than Just Being Amazon’s Deliverybot

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By Katrina Dianne Gimenez | December 4, 2013 10:53 AM EST

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced to the world Amazon Prime Air, a drone-like "octocopter" used for delivery, Dec 1.

Drones can deliver death on the battlefield. However, with Amazon's new project, drones are now set to deliver, not death, but packages.

"It will work, and it will happen, and it's gonna be a lot of fun," Mr Bezos said. He also predicted that the Prime Air project will be ready within 4 or 5 years from now. Before this project could be possible, Amazon will be needing approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the U.S.

"It's probably unlikely that the FAA will soon allow package delivery miles away from where the pilot can see the vehicle," Ben Gielow, a spokesperson for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, said.

Whether drones will be successful in the delivery field is still a big question. But, they had already been proven in other civilian areas that they are capable of making life easier. National Geographic lists the other areas in which drones are already in use.

Hurricane Tracking

Measuring a hurricane's temperature, pressure, humidity and location had been possible without risking human lives because of drones. They can go inside storms by going with the flow and perform valuable surveillance. NASA's Global Hawk mission used drones to study and track tropical storms in hopes of improving prediction powers.

3-D Mapping

Drones are used for capturing thousands of images. These images are stitched together to create 3-D Maps. The technology had long been used for Haitian relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy.

Wildlife Protection

The U.S. Government uses drones to monitor wildlife populations or map roads and wetlands for land management purposes.

WWF, with funding from Google, is planning to use drones in their fight against illegal poaching. It will launch drones in the skies of Africa to track down poachers and stop the extinction of iconic species like rhinos.


Drones can help in plowing a steep hillside. They can monitor and compare plant growth and measure where pesticides, water or fertilizers are needed. They can also reveal plant health by reflecting the efficiency of photosynthesis in plants with the use of infrared light cameras.

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