Commercial use of drones is growing ©123RF
Commercial use of drones is growing ©123RF

Tech briefing: drones

Don’t look up, but there could be one above you right now… From surveillance to delivery, the skies are becoming increasingly crowded, but there’s great potential for supply chains

A few years ago, you may have been forgiven for thinking that drones were just the stuff of science fiction – or something Jack Bauer had to contend with. But today there is no excuse – they are virtually ubiquitous.

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles, piloted remotely, or automated. They have enabled a number of capabilities that were previously unmanageable by man, and can deliver technology or transport items by air to difficult-to-reach or dangerous locations without risk to human life. Their manoeuvrability and precision has also enhanced their many uses.

They come in a variety of sizes – from small surveillance drones to military spy planes and armed drones used by the US air force that carry a range of technology, from infra-red imaging, television cameras and laser-guided missiles.

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