Justin Smith, CIOReview

The critical technology developments affecting the drone industry are discussed below.

Fremont, CA: The pace of the transformation of drone technology from war zones to retail stores has been phenomenal, especially given the negative associations and theories surrounding them.

Trends in Technology

The critical technology developments affecting the drone industry are discussed below.

Drone Scalability

Drone manufacturers focus on scaling drone technologies to offer higher carrying capacity and endurance and deliver low cost, small footprint drones for surveillance. The miniaturization of sensors reduces the total size and weight of drones and addresses their power requirements.

Some prospective drone application areas, including search and rescue, offshore natural resource discovery, and utilities inspection, among others, call for larger drones to carry larger payloads. The miniaturization of electronic components is also motivated by this aspect.

Processor Chip

Microprocessors act as drone control centers, offering a platform for control and communication software that integrates collision prevention sensors, high-definition cameras, and other sensors. Advances in chip design, powered to no small degree by the mobile phone industry, lead to smaller chips with better efficiency and lower prices, which tend to reduce the cost of manufacturing drones.

ARM-based processors from companies such as NXP Semiconductors and STMicroelectronics are among the most powerful in the market, with a clear focus on low power/low cost.

Technology in 3D

3D modeling technology’s ability to consume drone data in imagery and radar/light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data and turn it into full topological models makes it easier to survey and monitor the landscape and the objects inside it. As a result, drones are increasingly integrated with upgraded sensors, high-definition cameras, and computer algorithms to condense images into 3D visual images and quickly assess anomalies.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

The growing volume of data collected by drones would generate a demand for increasingly advanced data analysis. AI facilitates ‘continued learning’ for drones through machine learning techniques to allow complex capabilities such as autonomous flying and the detection and protection of obstacles. Although the industrial sector is a significant market for drones with AI capabilities, service sector companies are also struggling to establish innovative business models for AI-enabled drones.


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