What are drones getting up to these days? Aside from breaking boundaries of photographic exploration, here are just a few of the new applications being augmented by UAVs:

Internet access

High tech, high altitude UAVs, led by Facebook’s ‘Aquila’, are being developed to provide internet access to underserved areas. The drones are designed to float in holding patterns for up to 90 days, powered by solar cells, and, when proven out, could bring connectivity to the more than 2 billion people currently without.

Racing

The field of ‘First Person View’ (FPV) drone racing is one of today’s fastest growing sports. Pilots view the course through a virtual reality headset, navigating the tight twists and turns and plenty of obstacles that require massive precision to navigate. The DR.ONE competition, sponsored by Red Bull, sees 18 international drone racing teams from 11 countries put their skills and technology to the test.

Delivery

Whilst the jury is still out on the merits and justifications of making standard courier deliveries by drone, small, time-sensitive packages that need to get to inaccessible areas are a perfect fit. Several NGOs are already utilizing UAVs to deliver vaccines and medical equipment to inaccessible areas.