Since the drone (also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles-UAV) technology was introduced to the world, it has been utilized in different industries and operations, providing several benefits and making tasks easier and more efficient. This has made various stakeholders and the public to appreciate how crucial the technology is to national, continental and global development as well as Sustainable Development Goals in general due to numerous inspiring stories.

One of the case scenarios inspiring people at present globally is that of Jedsy. In late 2022, Jedsy commenced a promising collaboration with the Dr. Risch Laboratory Group in a pilot project to transport lab samples by drone as such, the operations are faster and environmentally friendly owing this to the unique and most innovative technology. Herbert Weirather (CEO of Jedsy) and Dr. Med. Martin Risch (CEO of Dr. Risch Laboratory Group) are optimistic the collaboration will revolutionize healthcare ultimately. Similarly, Jedsy is successfully delivering various medical supplies such as blood bags, vaccines, medicine and others in remote areas of Mzimba district in Malawi thereby contributing to revamping the poor health sector. 

Furthermore, other companies are using the technology for environmental monitoring to help in the fight against climate change. For instance, it is being applied in minimizing the plastic tide (the plastic tide refers to the massive accumulation of plastic waste in oceans and coastlines). It is estimated that there are trillions of plastic pieces with over 60% of the oceans being severely contaminated and each plastic taking over 400 years to degrade. Essentially, this has an immeasurable impact on our oceans, all marine life as well as human beings. This is where some companies are coming in to help researchers quantify the levels of plastic waste littering our beaches. Simply put, they are using drones to collect aerial data by tagging plastics and litter in the images where they teach a computer program to autodetect, measure and monitor plastics; the better you tag, the better the computer program gets at identifying plastics. 

Additionally, drones are playing a crucial role in search and rescue operations. One of the case scenarios happened in January of 2019 where a search and rescue in Snowy Canyon State Park, Utah, used a drone to help rescue a hiker on a ledge at night. The man that was trapped was a 60-year-old hiker and the search and rescue team were alerted by other hikers when they heard the man call for help from the ledge he was trapped. Specially, the drone played a crucial role in saving the hikers life by providing light to the rescuing team as it was during the night. While the team climbed up to the man and helped hum repel down to safety, the drone hovered in the air, providing light for the operation. 

Additionally, the agriculture sector is another industry that has benefited immensely from the drone technology. Fundamentally, drones have been instrumental in crop health, crop treatment, crop scouting, irrigation, field soil analysis and crop damage assessment. In Australia, drones are equipped with high-end multi-spectral cameras and they are used to map and monitor crop health thereby assisting farmers in making well-informed decision about irrigation and fertilization. The provision of date on health and growth of crops, including information on plant vigor, water stress and nutrient deficiencies is crucial in optimizing irrigation and fertilization practices, improving yields and reducing the use of resources. 

Furthermore, the inevitability of emergencies has prompted the relevant authorities to take advantage of the drone technology to get critical information and support to first responders. For example, in California, drones have been equipped with high-resolution cameras and thermal imaging technology to provide real-time aerial footage of wild fires, helping firefighters to make more informed decisions about resource allocation and evacuation strategies. The drones provide firefighters with real-time information on the spread and intensity of the fire, helping them to prioritize their efforts and minimize the risk to people property.  

Upon appreciating some of the exciting stories about how the drone technology is changing humanity, the technology is expected to advance and evolve significantly over the years. Indisputably, the autonomy is likely to improve, the range and endurance will increase, sensors and cameras will be upgraded just to mention a few. Talented and highly motivated research and development teams will definitely be at the core of the improved as they will push for creativity and innovation.