Drones are attracting attention as a tool for unmanned aerial photography and transportation, and are active in various industries, mainly in agriculture and disaster relief. In the future, by letting AI (artificial intelligence) learn the data obtained from drones, we can expect a wider range of applications, and depending on the idea, it is possible to start a completely new service.

Here, I will introduce the typical characteristics of drones and examples of using drones equipped with AI (artificial intelligence).

What is a drone

Drone is a general term for robots that can fly remotely or autonomously, and is also called a “small unmanned aerial vehicle.” The name drone has another meaning in English as “male bee”, but it is said that it was named in honor of the British target aircraft “Queen Bee”.

Like aircraft, there are many types of drones. “Aerial drone” that can take pictures and videos from the sky, “Toy drone” that weighs less than 200g and is small, “Industrial drone” that can be customized according to the intended use and is actively used in various industries There are three types.

The types of aircraft are classified into airships, fixed-wing aircraft, rotary-wing aircraft, gliders, and airplanes that can be operated remotely or automatically, but the current widespread use in Japan is small rotary-wing aircraft. It is called a multicopter with four or more propellers. Furthermore, the name changes depending on the number of propellers such as quadcopter (4 sheets), hexacopter (6 sheets), octocopter (8 sheets), etc. Power sources include electric, engine, jet, and hybrid types that fly while charging the battery with the engine.

Typical characteristics of drones

Aerial photography possible

This is a popular way to use drones. By attaching a camera or sensor to the drone and flying it, you can shoot from the sky or acquire image data of areas that people cannot enter.

Drones can fly in various patterns such as avoiding obstacles and resting in the air (hovering). Flight performance has become more stable year by year, and research is underway to remotely operate drones equipped with robot arms in areas where people cannot enter.

Automatic operation function

Drones can automate their flights. With this function, if you set the route in advance, you do not need to control the drone in detail.

Utilization of AI x drone

So far, from the characteristics listed in “Typical characteristics of drones”, what are the merits when thinking “I want to utilize drones in actual industry”?

AI (artificial intelligence) -equipped drone avoids collision

Depending on the position of the drone, it is possible that multiple autonomously flying drones are flying. It is humans who urgently stop the drone that is flying autonomously, but it is possible that humans cannot operate it immediately. The risk of collision can be reduced if the drone itself is trained in advance by AI (artificial intelligence) to avoid other drones that have flown.

Drone x AI (artificial intelligence) = infinity

AI (artificial intelligence) drones, which are active for industrial use, are expected to solve problems on behalf of humans in places where humans cannot physically approach them. Similarly, AI (artificial intelligence) technologies such as machine learning and deep learning are required to evolve more than ever, as well as having cognitive ability, movement ability, and situation grasping ability equal to or higher than human beings.

As the number of drones equipped with AI (artificial intelligence) increases, the businesses that utilize them will continue to expand.