Drones are capable of so many things that the prospects are as frightening as they are exciting. From quadcopter racing and weather surveillance to spy cams and terrorist activities; drones have the potential to do it all and there’s a lot more still to come in 2017 and beyond. So without wasting any further time, let’s get into what the future holds for drone technology.
Consumer drones don’t exactly sport the best quality cameras and the ones that do cost more than they should. This is likely to change in 2017-18 as drones are already being equipped with much better cameras that allow for better action footage than before. The rehashed Karma and Karma II drones with excellent imaging hardware from GoPro are coming soon.
Modular Drones are the Current Trend
In a trend set by the GoPro Karma, modular designs for drones which let the user customize them to best suit their specific needs are a hit. We have already seen a few launches this year and more will make their way into the market as the year pushes on. Apart from customization, the modularity also allows for easy reconstruction in case of a crash. Better yet, rumor has it that some of them could also be indestructible (read hard to break).
AI Powered Drones
AI or artificial intelligence is the order of the year in 2017 with so many companies launching software that’s capable of advanced machine learning. The use of AI is expected to make its way onto the drone industry as well. Weather stations could be using batches of small drones with the capability to fly in coordination with each other automatically. It should be noted that the Perdix drones can already do incredible things, such as self-repair, communicate with other drones and when flying in a swarm, rearrange themselves after they lose some of their brethren mid-air! While that’s US military technology, we are hopeful that at least some of it may make its way onto commercial drones soon.
The Bigger the Better
Well, that’s not quite true in all situations related to drones, but it could be useful in the future. While small drones are perfect for weather stations and some serious spy work, bigger drones could have commercial grade applications. The EHANG 184, for example, hopes to act as an aerial taxi, ferrying people around for short distances. Although the powers that be may not yet let the EHANG 184 fly passengers commercially for safety concerns, the company has already demonstrated that these huge drones are quite capable of doing just that. The logistics of commercial aerial taxis are yet to be figured out and therefore it will take a while before this one “takes off.”
The Selfie Drone
Why strain your hand holding the phone at a stretch or look stupid using a selfie stick when you can strike people with awe and a strong dose of vanity by instructing your selfie drone to do it for you. You have probably heard of it or even seen it, but if you haven’t, know that a series of new selfie drones are coming.
This should give you a decent idea of what to expect in terms of drone technology in 2017 and beyond, but it wouldn’t be all that surprising if we saw something that’s even more innovative and game-changing.