When Did Drones Become Popular?

David Lemay20 Jul 2022

Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), are a prominent example of modern technology. A flying camera might well have seemed like science fiction just a couple of decades ago. Drones used to be compared to computers in that they were large, costly, and beyond the means of the average person to buy or use. From then on, drone technology has advanced significantly. From enormous enterprise-level drones aimed to boost farming and construction processes to smaller consumer models built for racing and photography, drones are now widely available.

The History of Drones

Whenever you hear the word "drone," what comes to mind? Drones are now being utilized for a wide variety of purposes, including micro package delivery, industrial plant inspections, infrastructure surveillance, mapping, crop monitoring, disaster response, and surveillance systems, to name a few. When it comes to drone applications, the possibilities are seemingly boundless. But when drones were originally introduced to the public, they were mostly used for military activities.

Using unmanned balloons loaded with explosives, Austria launched a devastating attack on Venice in 1849. Around 200 of these explosive balloons were fired by Austrian soldiers, who were encircling Venice at the time.

Bombs weighed ranging from 11 to 14 kilograms in each balloon. Bombs dropped from the balloons after they were in position, wreaking devastation on the population below. Due to an unexpected change in wind direction, the balloons were blasted off-course and just one bomb landed on the target. Even though this event was groundbreaking in terms of military technology, the deployment of balloons falls short of the modern definition of drones, particularly military drones.

That being said, it's fascinating to see that military technologists were already debating the fundamentals of drones more than 170 years ago. Drone technology then progressed in the following centuries and decades thanks to this kind of ingenuity.

The FAA approved the first commercial drone authorization in 2006, recognizing the value of non-military, non-consumer drone applications. Consumer drones used for recreation no longer face some of the restrictions imposed by these permits. Businesses and individuals interested in using drones for a wide variety of purposes now have more options thanks to this development. In the beginning, there were very few requests for commercial drone permissions. That number, however, quickly grew.

In 2010, the first fully Wi-Fi-controlled drone was launched by the French company Parrot: the Parrot AR Drone. Even before its release, the drone won CES's Electronic Gaming Hardware Innovation award and sold more than half a million units across the globe. In addition, the AR Drone 2.0's piloting mechanism has been simplified, making it much easier for newbies to get started.

Then, Jeff Bezos' vision for a drone-based delivery method was made public in December 2013. Although it wasn't the first corporation to experiment with drone delivery, Amazon has been credited with popularizing the concept. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hinted at half-hour delivery times in a one-hour interview. He claimed that it wasn't Science fiction and that aerial deliveries will necessitate revisions to federal regulations and said that such technology would be ready in five years.

Fast forward to today and there is now a whole industry of commercial drones, with their different features and technologies, and applications in different industries.

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology has been constantly evolving since the turn of the last century, with remarkable progress in the past years. Drones used to be solely available to the military, but now they can be used by anybody, from small businesses to large corporations. Over the years, hobbyists of all kinds have contributed to the continuous growth of drones in the market.

So, why did drones become so popular? The answer is in the price - they've never been cheaper. Drone power could now be harnessed in a variety of ways because of the low cost of ownership. As a result of this, the number of industries using drones is also increasing at an exponential rate. Drones aren't just for fun or the military; they may be used for a wide range of applications.

Drones and Photography and Film

Contemporary photographers have mastered the use of drones to acquire seemingly impossible photographs of unreachable landscapes, athletic events, and cityscapes. Drones are now synonymous with shooting these kinds of images. Until the invention of drones, photographers could only get a bird's eye view of a subject by relying on helicopters for aerial photography. Using a helicopter for photography was prohibitively expensive because you had to rent a helicopter, a pilot, and bring yourself and your gear to the top of the chopper. Photographers can now fly a drone with a camera attached to it and shoot from the air. In the past twenty years, photographers have been able to capture images that they couldn't have imagined just a few decades before.

Drones and Commercial Industries

Drones assist businesses of all sizes to boost earnings and productivity while cutting down on labor costs. They aren't only for small businesses, either. Farmers are utilizing drones to inspect and administer pesticides to crops, which is one industry in that drones have had a significant impact. Realtors use drones to take compelling marketing footage of houses and the surrounding region for their clients.

Drones and the World

It's hard to fathom a time when you couldn't access the internet whenever you wanted. Sadly, many individuals throughout the world were unable to access the internet. Drone technology has allowed people in rural regions to connect to the internet via broadband. These drones can operate for years at a time because they are situated above the range of unfavourable weather conditions.

Today, drones are being used in manufacturing, art, military, and security, but it won't be long until they're used in other sectors of our lives and society as well, thanks to the rapid advancement of drone technology. Drones are now more affordable than they've ever been, making this cutting-edge technology available to a much broader audience. No matter what you do for a living or what your hobbies are, drone technology has something to offer you, which is why it has become so popular and will continue to grow in the years to come.

David Lemay

David Lemay

I'm David Lemay, a lover of tech and have had an interest in drones for years. Bought my first few drones, before I started building my own. I want to share my passion with others, so I started this site to help others who want to get into the hobby.

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