The use of technologies to mechanize and enhance responsibilities consistently discharged by humans is expected to grow tremendously. Incidentally, experts have created drones that can seamlessly execute the majority of duties that were once discharged manually. In the past, people associated drones with the United States’ “military fleet of unmanned vehicles used for surveillance purposes” (Wall & Monahan, 2011, p. 254).
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Drones were initially designed for military use. However, today, there are individual drones used for commercial purposes. Drones have capacities that surpass those of mobile gadgets like tablets and smartphones. Indeed, the benefits of drones are incomparable to their demerits. They aid in recording videos and capturing images of expansive areas that are inaccessible. In 2015, it is estimated that over 40,000 drones will be operated to help in monitoring and surveying remote regions worldwide. Moreover, drones enable institutions to appraise and share data in real time, therefore making knowledgeable and faster decisions. This paper will discuss the benefits of drones to humanity.
Benefits of Drones
Law enforcement agencies use drones to impose law and order. For instance, in the United States, security personnel use drones to search for lost children. United States is dotted with forests that are difficult and dangerous to infiltrate. Cases of children and adults disappearing in the forests are common. Conducting a physical search of the lost children may pose a danger to security personnel. Therefore, security personnel uses drones equipped with thermal imaging gadgets to search for the missing persons (Andreas, 2006). The drones not only accelerate the searching exercise, but also free some personnel to execute other duties.
Andreas (2006) claims that drones help security officials to track suspects and conduct tactical surveillance. Today, many illegal immigrants close the border between the United States and Canada. The two countries do not have adequate personnel to monitor the expansive border. Therefore, they use drones to monitor and track illegal immigrants. Indeed, drones have helped to curb cases of criminals smuggling drugs Mexico into the United States.
Bloss (2007) argues that drones have made it easy for law enforcement agents to monitor large crowds during public events. Public events attract people from all walks of life. Even though the police may screen everyone getting into a public event, it is hard to prevent some criminals from executing their plans. There needs to be something that can help law enforcement agents to have an aerial view of everything that is happening in the course of the events.
Security personnel fly drones above the crowds, which help them to record all that it is happening. In case of an incident, they replay the recording and identify the perpetrators. Apart from monitoring crowds, the United States government uses drones to rescue people in case of natural disasters like floods (Cousineau, 2011). They fly drones in the flood-stricken areas to locate injured and stranded victims. The government then sends helicopters to evacuate the affected people. Besides, the government uses drones to appraise the damage caused by floods without endangering the security of rescue team.
Application in Insurance Industry
According to Ravich (2014), drones have enhanced the productivity, safety, and efficiency of property claims adjusters. Property appraisal involves risky activities. Claim adjusters are supposed to scale ladders and scaffoldings to examine ice dams, rooflines, and chimneys. For intricate fire assessment, adjusters occasionally rent fire trucks and scissor lifts to assess an occurrence and establish the cause of fire.
Adjusters are unable to carry out these duties during the winter season because of harsh weather and greasy surfaces. Claim adjusters are supposed to carry numerous gadgets to facilitate the investigation. Besides, they record their findings and take photos of the affected facilities. Despite the introduction of tablets and mobile devices, the adjusters require sophisticated devices to take photos of roofs and the interior of big stockrooms.
Drones have helped insurance companies to improve property adjustment procedures. According to Ravich (2014), “easy portability, navigation and the ability to take high-resolution videos and photos make drones the ideal solution for supplementing claims adjudication” (p. 49). Drones have eliminated the risks of claim adjusters having to scale risky ladders with cameras.
Drones allow claim adjusters to take clear photos of locations that were previously inaccessible. They help adjusters to illuminate disputed areas, take clear images, and evaluate particulars to discern the origin of loss without distressing the scene. Drones are fitted with infrared cameras that guarantee accurate detection of possible gas and water leaks. Indeed, drones have enhanced the efficiency of claim adjusters and improved their output by at least 50%.
Moreover, drones have enabled field adjusters to reach remote experts like “special investigation unit staff or total-loss professionals, who can view videos and photos that are transmitted in real time by the drones” (Jenks, 2010, p. 653). Therefore, experts can make an informed decision since they have access to first-hand information. Drones are significantly helpful in investigating storey buildings. They capture clear and precise images, therefore enhancing the value of the claims arbitration procedure. In addition, since drones are operated remotely, the safety of claim adjusters is guaranteed.
Farmers use drones to reduce wastage of water and financial resources on their farms. Urbahs and Jonaite (2013) allege that the amount of water, fertilizer, and herbicides used on a farm is directly proportional to the density of crops. Thus, farmers use drones to determine the density of the plants before they start to irrigate or apply fertilizer. A drone is capable of seeing plants that cannot be seen from the ground. In addition, farmers use drones to manage their crops.
They capture aerial images of the farms, which help to determine the areas where crops are not doing well. They can then visit the areas and correct samples of the soil for analysis or determine if pests have infested the region. According to Zhang and Kovacs (2012), drones have helped farmers to reduce fertilizer usage by at least 40%. They allege that drones enable farmers to estimate the amount of herbicides and pesticides to use in a particular piece of land, thus reducing wastage. Moreover, the use of drones to determine resource usage helps to curb environmental pollution by avoiding cases of chemicals getting their way into adjacent streams and rivers.
Apart from regulating resource usage, drones help farmers to increase their agricultural yields. According to Zhang and Kovacs (2012), drones help farmers to identify sections of land that require the greatest attention, therefore ensuring that they get maximum produce. Drones used in farm administration are equipped with crop management system that enables farmers to assess and react to changes in individual plants (Zhang & Kovacs, 2012).
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Therefore, farmers can detect disease outbreak and take appropriate measures before plants are overwhelmed. Currently, Agribotix has come up with a program dubbed “Bring Your Own Drone” that has enabled farmers to share ideas and improve their productivity. The program helps in generation of maps that are essential in planning.
Media and Entertainment
Drones have eased operation in sports and entertainment industry. News reporters use drones to record videos and take photos during media and sporting activities. Culver (2014) alleges that technology has facilitated the development of small commercial drones that allow photographers and journalists to take pictures and shoot videos. Catastrophes like floods and earthquakes make some areas inaccessible.
Hence, it becomes hard for media personnel to record or broadcast the tragedy to create public awareness. However, drones have made it possible for media to reach areas hit by catastrophes and inform the public about the casualties and the required humanitarian assistance. Grenzdorffer, Engel and Teichert (2008) maintain that drones enable media and entertainment institutions to take aerial videography and photography at low cost relative to using helicopters and airplanes.
Tremayne and Clark (2014) claim that drones enable media to stream live events in case of disasters and to ensure that the government is accountable. In most cases, the government conceals information that may portray it as irresponsible. For instance, the Japanese government did not disclose the nature of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. Communicating the scope of the damage would have ruined the government’s relationship with the public. Unfortunately, the media did not have drones to assess the destruction that the meltdown caused. Therefore, the public did not get a clear knowledge of the meltdown aftermaths.
Despite the drones helping the state bodies to maintain law and order, many people allege that the bodies need to come up with alternative measures. Individuals opposed to the use of drones claim that they infringe on privacy. Police and other law enforcement agencies use drones to watch activities taking place in public events or a city (Schlag, 2013). The information that the drones collect is not censured. Therefore, they might infringe on people’s privacy by gathering sensitive information.
Many people view the use of drones to enforce law as a violation of human rights and infringement of private lives. Some people view drones as Big Brothers on the space that curtail people’s freedom to go on with their daily activities. Unfortunately, the government cannot enforce law without monitoring activities of all people as it is hard to identify and isolate criminals.
The truth is that people use images and videos to analyze and interpret daily events. It does not matter if the events are happening in their midst or elsewhere across the globe. The use of drones to enforce law and order helps to track and apprehend criminals. Indeed, the rate of crimes has gone down in the United States. The development of drones has transformed law-enforcement in the United States. Despite the legal and social challenges associated with drones, it is hard for the law enforcement agencies to disregard their benefits. Therefore, states will continue to use drones and to improve their capabilities to enhance public safety.
Most institutions have resulted in the use of drones to execute tasks that were previously discharged manually. Indeed, drones have innumerable benefits compared to their demerits. First, drones have helped to enforce law and order. Security personnel use drones to track and apprehend criminals. In addition, countries like the United States and Canada use drones to arrest illegal immigrants and drug traffickers. Second, drones have revolutionized agriculture in the United States.
They help farmers to determine the sections of the land that require considerable attention, therefore minimizing wastage of farm inputs. Third, drones have facilitated operations of media and entertainment companies. Journalists and film-makers use drones to take aerial photos of areas that cannot be accessed from the ground. Finally, drones have enhanced the safety and productivity of property claim adjusters.
They have made it easy for adjusters to locate and evaluate buildings that cannot be scaled using ladders. Despite the numerous benefits associated with drones, their usage infringe on people’s privacy. The government cannot enforce law without monitoring the activities of its citizens. Therefore, the government should treat information gathered by drones with utmost confidence to avoid violating human rights.
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