(CNN)One day after a drone crashed at the White House, President Barack Obama reiterated the need to regulate the industry as the recreational and commercial use of drones expands.
“The drone that landed in the White House you buy in Radio Shack,” Obama said Tuesday in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in India.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued some guidelines restricting where and how users can fly drones, but the industry is largely unregulated as more companies look to buy and integrate the relatively new technology into their business. The FAA has been working to craft a comprehensive regulatory framework for drones, following calls from Congress and the President.
Big Four firm Deloitte has predicted that more than a million commercial drones will take to the skies in 2015 as technological advances allow for further developments. Deloitte explained that with 700,000 commercial drones currently in use and more than 300,000 ordered globally for 2015, this year will see more than a million commercial drones.
Worldwide, total industry revenues are expected to reach between £125m and £250m, based on predictions of drones costing £125 or more.
Paul Lee, Deloitte’s head of technology, media, and telecommunications research, said that with average flight costs totalling £6 a trip, it was unlikely that the devices – also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – would be used for home deliveries.
“Drones have been prominent in news bulletins recently, with attention focused on consumer usage. But the bigger opportunity may be for businesses,” Lee said.
“We don’t think this will be for deliveries to our homes – the cost per trip at an average £6 is prohibitively high – but rather for the many tasks that require some form of aerial observation.
“Drones are being used today to inspect the outsides of off-shore wind turbines for example. It’s quicker and cheaper to send a drone up to shoot video footage, than to have someone scale up with ropes and harnesses.”
Included in the list of businesses hoping to explore the use of drone technology in 2015 are global giants Amazon and DHL.
Both businesses unveiled plans to research and develop drone services late last year, with projects named Prime Air and Parcelcopter respectively.
DHL revealed in September that it had been given the go ahead by German regulators to test pilot a service to the North Sea island of Juist, where drones could be used to deliver urgently required goods, including medications.
At the time, Jürgen Gerdes, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL’s eCommerce parcel division, said that DHL was proud to develop the additional service after undertaking lengthy research to ensure the safe use of the Parcelcopter.
“Our DHL Parcelcopter 2.0 is already one of the safest and most reliable flight systems in its class that meets the requirements needed to fulfill such a mission,” Gerdes said.
Skysense has launched a portable charging pad which enables drones to land on it before charging up the exhausted drone’s batteries automatically.
Andrea Puiatti, CEO of Skysense, said, “This solves two problems. The first, it enables you to manage the operation remotely. Second, you can have a drone that takes off at any time without human intervention to change the battery, thus enabling fully autonomous missions.”
The asking price for this charging pad would cost anywhere from $649 and $4,365, depending on what kind of goodies that are requested in the final roll out. The vast price difference would certainly translate to a whole lot of customization, don’t you think so? After all, the power tiles themselves are gold-plated where the landing area is concerned, which would certainly add up to the overall cost.
This is a great little video about how Unmanned Systems – or Drones or Robotic Aircraft (Whatever you would like to call them) can help in the future.
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