Ecommerce & Drones: What The Future Holds

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By Victoria Greene@vickyecommerce

The ecommerce industry is one area that really stands to benefit from the increased use of drones in our society, especially when it comes to logistical evolution. As drones become easier to control and are given greater levels of autonomy by legislators, their commercial uses will only continue to increase. The future of drones and ecommerce is bright and promising. Here are a few things that we might be able to expect in the years to come, from same-day deliveries across the globe to drone-based photography services.

drone at sunset

Used By Big Businesses

Drones are already used by businesses like Amazon, who plans to have 80-90% of its deliveries fulfilled by drones in future. As the technology becomes more prevalent, more and more businesses are going to start doing the same. Amazon is a huge industry influencer and if it comes up with a new initiative, you can be sure that everyone else will be vying for a slice of the pie. Amazon has the ability to wield its enormous influence and purchase power, but eventually drone delivery should trickle out to smaller retailers and brands too. (It’s predicted that a lot of large businesses will pay for their drones by renting them out).

Drones Powering the Future of Delivery

The more that drones are used, the more convenient home deliveries will be. Consider the following ways in which drones will impact the delivery experience across the globe:

  • Same-day delivery is something some Amazon already offers and it’s only going to become more popular — drones will help drive this trend and eventually same day will go down to delivery within hours. Shopify’s recent partnership with Uber is a great example of how ecommerce companies are constantly innovating in order to cut down delivery times and costs — whether that’s with drones or Ubers!
  • Drones will initially be expensive to purchase, but once businesses have them, the cost of delivery will go down as their maintenance will be cheaper than postal service costs. Eventually postal services and delivery couriers will also use drones for delivery— normalizing their use and consolidating flight routes to minimize disruption
  • With drones easily able to fly to specific addresses, the number of parcels misdelivered as a result of human error will decrease significantly. People living in remote areas are already benefitting from medical drones, and commerce will soon follow
  • Weekend deliveries will become increasingly common: Sunday deliveries will no longer be so rare as there will be less need for human labor

Quality Of Life Improvements

It’s easy to think about the ways in which the average consumer will benefit from the ecommerce application of drones, but it’s no exaggeration to say that their use will actually mean a genuine improvement in the quality of life for some people. Here are some examples:

  • If somebody is suffering from a chronic illness, drone deliveries will help to ensure that they can get the treatments they need. Currently, somebody might have a fair wait on their hands before they can get hold of their medicine if they forget to ask for a repeat prescription
  • Drones can help vulnerable communities and roadless areas get access to crucial supplies, even during times of conflict
  • In less extreme situations, if somebody found that they had a splitting headache and there were no painkillers in the house (for example), a drone could get it to them much more quickly than any other method
  • Food could be delivered to most locations much more quickly and much more easily. Many less mobile people already depend upon home delivery services for their food and the better these services become, the better the quality of life will be for these people

Drone-Related Services

While home delivery is the main area in which drones will be useful, there’ll also be some room for specialist drone-related services. We have already touched on the B2B application, with larger businesses renting out their drones to smaller businesses in order to get a return on their investment, but drones can provide further services to benefit the average consumer.

  • Photographers are using drones in order to create pieces of aerial photography that would otherwise have not been possible. People are already selling drone photography and footage, and this is an area of photography that’s likely to grow
  • Farmers will be able to purchase drone services to keep their crops watered and free of pests
  • People might soon be able to pay for drone security services A business could easily provide a drone monitoring system and a customer could pay and handle it all online. If it’s taking in CCTV footage, that footage could be tied to an account on an ecommerce website, which the user simply logs in to access. It could also easily be provided as a subscription service

The Future Is Uncertain

While we can hazard a guess that drones will be used for X, Y and Z, we can never be entirely sure about what will catch on with the general populace. There are probably some innovators out there right now, working on some drone applications that nobody else has even considered yet! Equally, the next big scientific breakthrough could occur and leave drones obsolete. You always have to take predictions about the future with a pinch of salt.

What we’re seeing is that the commercial use of drones is becoming increasingly widespread. The benefits of using drones are obvious and it’s all a matter of accessibility. As soon as they are within the reach of smaller businesses, you’ll almost certainly be seeing a lot more drone deliveries and drone-related services out there. It could really revolutionize the ecommerce world. Which drone applications are you most excited about?

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant



I work with ecommerce businesses & marketing teams to create content and targeted digital strategies. To succeed at what I do, I always have to be looking to the future and trying to figure out how things are going to change and evolve. Never a dull moment!

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

Parrot Extends Its Education Offer Worldwide And Builds New Collaborations With Major Players

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A press release by Parrot through realwire

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  • Launched In 2016 In The US, Parrot Education Is Now Expanding Worldwide With Programs For Primary, Secondary, Higher Education, Field Researchers And Developers.
  • Parrot Strengthens Its Collaborations With Renowned EDU Players

Parrot Education has been created by Parrot to support academic and non-profit institutions to enable the use of drones in classrooms, labs and fields. Launched one year ago in the US, the program today works with more than 400 schools and 50 major universities across North America that use Parrot products as part of their curriculum. Now, the program will expand to make Parrot educational content available worldwide!

Key collaborations with major players

Parrot Education has developed strong collaborations with renowned companies so educators can teach students essential STEM skills, such as mathematics, science, art, physics and coding, and so kids can continue to learn coding at home.

Apple

Parrot is featured in Swift Playgrounds, the free iPad app from Apple. With Parrot’s new playground, which is available in six languages, kids (and adults) can program and control Parrot drones using real Swift code. (https://www.apple.com/swift/playgrounds/)

Tynker

Tynker strengthened its partnerships with Parrot by deploying its curriculum on tablets in six languages and in making a new offer available for any private individuals, so the apprenticeship can continue at home, after school. (https://www.tynker.com/learn-to-code/code-this-drone/)

Workbench

Workbench offers a revolutionary platform that connects educators from all over the world so they can share their activities within the educational community. The “Parrot Flight School” now makes it possible to write code and to control a drone directly from a web browser.

Mathworks

MathWorks has provided hardware support from MATLAB® and Simulink® for Parrot drones with the Embedded Coder® target for Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. MathWorks is also assisting Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Sertac Karaman, and other researchers, to use Parrot Minidrones to teach undergraduate and graduate courses on feedback control.

Parrot Education Resources

Resources developed by Parrot include multi-drone teaching bundles, educational discounts, software applications and curriculum partners for instructional resources.

Education pack

Schools and academic institutions can purchase education packs online in the US, Canada and Europe. Parrot is looking for education-oriented distributors to make the offer available everywhere.

Education discount

Any private individual, as they have a project linked to education or development, can benefit from special offers after submitting the details of their project online.

Partner program

Schools and universities can become a Parrot Education partner and pass on education pricing benefits to their students on all Parrot products. The first major partner is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specialising in aviation and aerospace.

Parrot, the perfect partner for Education

Schools or universities that include robotics or drones in their curriculum often do not have the right hardware to work with, and researchers are always looking for new ways to test.

From primary schools to PhDs, drones offer an astonishing new perspective with countless applications. Parrot has a large portfolio of safe, reliable, robust, reparable, affordable and programmable drones, completed by a range of advanced sensors and software to meet these needs.

K-12

Parrot Education’s Minidrones-coding curriculum is currently used in more than 400 schools in North America. Parrot has designed complete courses, like teaching code using blocks and using an advanced language like Swift.

“Parrot drones have created amazing STEM opportunities in my classroom taking our coding and engineering to new heights!”

Brad Lowell, 5th grade science and STEM teacher, Fall Creek Intermediate School in Fishers, Indiana.

“The integration of Parrot Minidrones within our STEM curriculum enables us to engage our students in hands-on problem solving experiences where they apply coding, engineering, and making skills in fun and creative ways.”

Michael A. Lincoln, Information Technology/Media Design Educator/Speaker

“Parrot Minidrones have been instrumental throughout all of our drone stem summer camp programs. Our participants and instructors can easily fly and code the Minidrones as they attempt and accomplish valuable and exciting flight challenges. In the end the Parrot Minidrones are an excellent teaching tool and fully support our overall goal of STEM learning through the portal of drone technology.”

Robert Elwood, Founder & CEO, Drobots Company

Higher education & Collegiate

High schools, community and technical colleges are becoming more interested in adopting drones, and those already using them are keen to expand their programs. 50 major American universities like Berkeley, MIT and Stanford work with Parrot Education.

“The Beaver Works Summer Institute was created at the MIT to give highly motivated STEM students the chance to tackle complex, hands-on engineering projects. This year we’ve added two more projects in which students can explore applications for autonomy and artificial intelligence. At the BWSI grand finale competitions August 6 at MIT, students in the autonomous UAV course will fly their Parrot quadrotors autonomously through an obstacle course.”

Bob Shin, director of MIT Beaver Work Initiative

Field researchers

Drones make it possible to collect high-resolution geospatial data and this technology is transforming field research. Parrot Education supports faculty, postdocs, graduate students, technicians and undergraduate field assistants in their work.

Parrot partnered with the research group of Dr. Todd Dawson, faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, to promote innovation and the use of drone technology in measuring and monitoring forest ecosystems. The project took a unique approach in studying the architecture and hydraulics, or how water flows, through the massive sequoia trees. The goal being to better understand how individual sequoias have survived for centuries and how they will continue to survive in the future under a changing climate.

Developers

Parrot gives developers access to EDU discounts, a free SDK and real-time simulator for all their drones. Everything comes with full documentation and sample code in most common programming languages.

Focused on App development, Parrot SDK enables developers to have direct contact with Parrot engineers and a community of more than 4,000 users who are already registered.

For more information: edu.parrot.com

An history of drones – Infographic

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Thanks to David from DronesBuy.net for sharing this nice story and infographic with us! Make sure you check out his nice original full article at https://www.dronesbuy.net/history-of-drones/

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If you’re on this site, you’re already familiar with the incredible drone revolution going on these days.

Personal drones are becoming more and more popular, their prices are coming down, their technology is getting better and simply put, they become more accessible to more people- that’s why you keep hearing about them all over the place.

Personal drones however, have evolved, like much of our cutting edge technology from a more scary past – a military past. The commercial and consumer drone revolution has both an interesting, a curious and even a more terrifying past – the history of drones is, in fact, extremely interesting.

It’s interesting to read and understand how drones technology has come about and how it has matured over the years – incredibly drones have been evolving for more than two centuries. Quite a lot of different technologies had to come together to eventually enable the current version of drones.

The following Infographic from DronesBuy.net fully explains the timeline of the historical evolution of drones as it happened through the ages, from the first ever unmanned hot-air balloon flight, to the current usage of personal and commercial drones.

History of drones infographic
History of drones infographic

But let me tease your curiosity with a few questions about the history of drones:

  • Did you know that the first unmanned vehicle flight took place in 1782 by the Montgolfier brothers?

  • Did you know that the first historical military use of drones first occurred in 1848 in Austria?
  • Did you know that Tesla (the inventor not the car) played an important part in the evolution of the history of drones?
  • Did you know that the first drone which could take photos was deployed at the end of the 19th century?
  • Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was discovered when working within a military drone facility?
  • Did you know that beyond personal drones, these days synchronised UAVs are being used to create spectacular lighting effects in concerts such as the Superbowl by artists such as Lady Gaga?

Have a look at the infographic above, or click on the image to read the full article about the full history of drones and UAVs.