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On Demand Businesses 101

Stepping in the drone age

We live in the age of the machine – and our definitions of what machines can do change almost every day. From building a cumbersome device like the Differential Engine to carrying out simple calculations, we now have devices sleeker than a manicured nail that can fit into your pocket – and do much more than the Differential Engine ever could.

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It is no surprise, therefore, that technology would become an invaluable asset in all forms of work, be it manual labor or otherwise. This article explores the possibilities that Drones (one of our latest technological babies) can provide in today’s changing economic scenario – making money with them may just be easier than you thought.

Let’s just realize the kind of economics that we are dealing with today. No doubt, we are living in the entrepreneurial age – while one cannot discount the power conventional companies still hold as long-standing market players, we also cannot discount that there is a surge as far as independent operators are concerned. Newer companies are built on the ‘on-demand’ model, with less focus on physical infrastructure and emphasis on software and technology for carrying out transactions while setting up digital marketplaces to facilitate exchanges. Several examples of successful companies operating on this model now exist – take Uber, Airbnb and Amazon, to name a few noteworthy ones. Most of these companies are also young, and have reaped considerable rewards in a matter of a few years.

Independent services are hence finding customers, and several companies are simply connecting the independent operator with the relevant customer. With the help of drone technology, you can be one of these operators, providing several services.

While drones have earlier been used in the military and certain other exclusive sectors, the technology is now widely available for the common consumer, albeit at a considerable price. This should not be taken to heart, as this is a long term investment that you are making – Investopedia states that drones are now available for as little as $60. 

Delivery, On-Demand

Amazon has already declared that it will be using a fleet of drones for its new delivery service – Amazon Prime Air, promising to deliver items under as less as thirty minutes. Full-scale operation has not yet commenced due to FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) restraints on unmanned aerial vehicles. No doubt, people wishing to invest in drones will be subjected to several constraints of this variety – but the laws and rules are slowly being subject to debate due to Amazon’s continued research and testing in other countries.

Beginning a drone delivery service is perhaps one of the most efficient uses for your drone – it may begin privately, and later expand to a full-scale, unmanned operation.

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Advertising

Drones are also incredibly effective for advertising purposes – you can have your drone fly over several locations, estates and pretty much anything that could use quality photography from previously inaccessible locations. There are many companies that require these services in order to boost their campaigns – mainly of the real estate, or the on-demand accommodation type. Lucrative photographs are always welcome, even needed in the advertising sector.

Photography

Photography services can also be a standalone affair, especially with areas such as event management and tourism. Be it weddings, or parties or even technical photography for digital mapping and GIS applications, drones can be invaluable for all of these purposes. Their aerial nature makes them particularly efficient photographic devices – and eliminates the time and effort involved to get certain angles and shots.

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Surveillance, Inspection and Relief

While these are not as common for commercial drones, the United States is now seeing a surge of private contractors leasing drones for surveillance. Inspecting giant infrastructure and contraptions in hard-to-reach places is also another area for drones to operate in, as it reduces the risks of sending a person for these purposes. For example, fixing water and gas leaks can be tedious if the damaged area is unknown on the giant pipelines that we utilise – a drone can access and monitor these areas easily. Similarly, in hostile, conflict-ridden areas, a drone is a no-risk device that can get the required footage without casualties. While these drones require high-grade cameras, the payoff is also significant.

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Some heavy duty drones can also deliver payloads, such as medicines and other necessities that can aid disaster affected areas.

The Service Sector

Lastly, drones are making a foray into areas such as the agricultural sector, where they are being employed to dispense pesticides and monitor crop growth. This has already been seen in drone-friendly countries like Canada and Japan, where drones monitor the overall health of the crops and precision agriculture. Drones were also used in Alaska by oil and gas giant British Petroleum (BP) to map land outcrops and for checking pipelines – the harsh temperature can put many a human life at risk if deployed for similar purposes. You can read the article here.

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To sum it up, the economy of today demands automation and digitization for optimizing many services. The use of unmanned vehicles to minimize risk has been a longstanding desire – but, you can use your private drone for many other purposes as listed by this article. While certain countries are still debating the use of drones for commercial purposes, the opinion is favorably pro-drone – the machine is here to stay. How you choose to utilize this machine is in your hands – profitable or otherwise.   

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