Drones Why 2017 will be the year of the flying cameras

Drones Why 2017 will be the year of the flying cameras

Drones Why 2017 will be the year of the flying cameras

What can the Inspire 2 camera drone do?

When the mountain rescue service in the Bavarian town of Furth im Wald searches for missing people, they don’t have to send a helicopter straight away. Instead, the lifesavers are sending a drone into the air. At the beginning of the year, the helpers bought an Inspire-2 drone from the Chinese manufacturer DJI.

The professional quadrocopter has a camera on board that records particularly sharp images – and delivers clear videos even at dusk. The mountain rescuers can follow the images of the eagle’s eye in the air in real time on a tablet computer – and keep an eye out for casualties between trees and rocks.

The fact that drones are now also being used in precarious situations shows how sophisticated the technology is. The Inspire-2 (), for example, flies up to 94 kilometers per hour, can be flown up to five kilometers away and even follows people by itself if you tap them on the screen – an interesting function for mountain rescuers. The pilots don’t have to worry that the drone itself will crash against the rock face – thanks to built-in sensors and artificial intelligence, it will stop in front of every obstacle or fly over it.

Facts about drones

Gartner’s market researchers are predicting a boom for the technology in 2017 as well: While 2.1 million copies were sold in 2016, it should be 3 million this year – most of them for private purposes. 174,000 pieces are purchased for commercial use. The manufacturers should make six billion dollars in sales this year. In 2020, the market is expected to have grown to $ 11.2 billion.

The brisk planes are particularly suitable for aerial photography. From the folding model that fits in every backpack to the professional drone with changeable optics, all variants are now on the market. But model flight fans are also increasingly using drones for races in the air. Even the insurance company Allianz has just entered the trend sport – as an advertising partner of the Drone Racing League, a global drone racing series.

Drones are also being used more and more for commercial purposes: They use them to inspect wind turbines. Farmers are scanning their fields from the air to determine the need for water and fertilizer – a deal that will be worth $ 32.4 billion by 2025, according to consultants at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Fire brigades are also increasingly using aerial images to clarify the danger situation in the event of a fire.

However, if the Federal Council agrees on March 10th, drone pilots will soon have to comply with stricter rules: drones weighing more than 250 grams must wear a sticker with the name of the owner’s address. And anyone who flies a copter weighing more than two kilograms must have a pilot license or an examination certificate. Drones are no longer allowed to fly higher than 100 meters, and also not over motorways or railway lines.

Freedom is not limitless above the clouds.

The most important drone rules at a glance