From sci-fi to reality: 4 everyday uses for drones

Drones come in all shapes and sizes and range anywhere from a $50 toy to a multi-million dollar military tool. While there are hundreds of uses for drones, read on for some of the main ones.  

From sci-fi to reality: 4 everyday uses for drones blog
Mark Klein, a KFB Insurance property claim adjuster, inspects an insured's property using a drone.

When you hear the word “drone,” you may envision a sci-fi-like scene in which a flying robot drops a box of takeout directly on your doorstep or uses x-ray vision to spy on your neighbors. The truth is, drones are all around us – and chances are, they aren’t nearly as frightening as you think they are.   

So what exactly is a drone, anyway? According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a drone (technically referred to as an unmanned aircraft system, or UAS), is “an aircraft without a human pilot onboard … controlled from an operator on the ground.”

Drones come in all shapes and sizes and range anywhere from a $50 toy to a multi-million dollar military tool. While there are hundreds of uses for drones, here are some of the main ones:

  1. For fun | Personal hobby drones have exploded in popularity. Think of them as the futuristic big brother of the good ol’ fashioned remote-controlled car. These small and relatively inexpensive aircrafts are a blast to zip around your living room or over your backyard. Some of them even snap photos and video via a built-in camera or an iPhone hook-up.
  2.  Film/video | Drones are taking film and TV viewers to new heights – literally. They’re increasingly showing up on sets as a cost-effective way to grab stunning aerial shots. According to the LA Times, a camera drone and crew costs as little as $5,000 a day, compared with at least $25,000 a day for a helicopter.  

    Many action films use drones to capture high-intensity scenes from a unique perspective. For example, drones were used in dozens of scenes for the action movie “The Expendables 3.”
  3. Insurance claims | Insurance companies are increasingly utilizing drones as a safer and more efficient way to inspect property damage. Claim adjusters are accustomed to braving tall ladders and risky roof heights in order to inspect and capture a few snapshots of damage. Drones are taking the sweat-inducing labor out of property inspections, allowing an adjuster to gather hundreds of high-definition images without ever leaving the ground.

    Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance is on the cutting edge of this trend. Claim adjusters throughout the state use this technology to inspect property damage.

  4. Military | Drones arguably got their start in the military. They were performing top secret missions decades before they landed on the shelves of your local toy store. Today, military drones can fly up to heights of 65,000 feet for more than 24 hours at a time. They not only provide unparalleled warfighting capability abroad, but they’re also helpful with domestic needs like homeland security, border patrol and disaster relief.

With each release of new drone technology, unrealistic and futuristic visions are on the verge of becoming mainstream.

In 2020, Amazon received federal approval to operate its fleet of Prime Air package delivery drones, allowing the company to expand unmanned package delivery. While the Prime Air fleet isn’t ready to immediately deploy package deliveries at scale, the company is actively flying and testing the technology. Other companies, like Walmart and UPS, are readying similar plans.

Want to learn more about drones? Click here to read up on the official details straight from the FAA.

>> Your KFB agent can offer insurance for commercial and/or personal drone usage. Click here to find an agent near you!