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The era of drones

The era of drones

New technologies are evolving faster than ever. What was once considered a breakthrough quickly became a commonplace object. Just as the computer was once a wonderful invention and occupied an entire room, it is now small enough to fit in a pocket. The drones thus seem doomed to become ordinary. But for those who are visually impaired, a personal drone can change their lives.

What is drone?

What kind of picture is in your mind when thinking about drones? A single remote control toy with a propeller, or a large military drone? Soon, these pictures may change a lot: drones are getting smaller and smaller, manufacturing costs are falling, they can fly autonomously, and they make up groups of hundreds, even thousands, like a group of flying bird.

Technically speaking, a drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). They are controlled by radio waves and GPS, and are often equipped with sensors and cameras, depending on the purpose for which they are intended. They are equipped with rotors to propel them forwards, backwards, sideways, upwards, downwards and hovering, while making a soft purr (or buzzing). As technology improves, these personal drones become smaller and cheaper. Today, they are used as a device for selfie, remote controlled waterfall drone, and electronic fireworks. However, their most philanthropic use is probably to help people with visual impairments live independent lives.

UAVs for personal use

DIY drones is the familiar name given to amateur drones. They are usually light and smaller, built for leisure, for carrying a payload or for a purpose such as photography or depth detection. For the moment, UAV flight limits are set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States and by Transport Canada Civil Aviation (CCTA) in Canada. The CCTA states that if your plane weighs 35 kg or less, you do not need a flight authorization. If it weighs more than 35 kg, you need a Special Flight Operations Certificate.

Personal drones for the visually impaired 

Because of their GPS, their internal video capabilities and their natural humming, drones are developed to help the visually impaired to crisscross the city and inner areas, or while they exercise. This is a new revolutionary for the blind community, which can often face barriers to participate in traditional exercises or exercise routines.

So that drones can help blind people in their exercise program, a bracelet with a very small drone is attached to the wrist of the user. Thanks to verbal commands such as "navigate to the kitchen", the GPS system built into the bracelet calculates the route and begins to fly. Using GPS and Bluetooth technology, the drone flies in front of the user, but remains within one meter of his presence. Using the drone as a guide, the user follows the sound to its destination. Once the goal is reached, a voice command returns the drone to the bracelet.

In a lab environment, drones have been used to guide subjects in overcrowded rooms. Participants reached all targets without hitting walls, furniture or other people with an integrated camera that can identify and avoid obstacles, guiding the user through the purring of rotors. The sound was easy to distinguish and allowed the subjects to walk as they normally would. Although this technology is still in its infancy, the results are promising.

Drones to guide blind athletes

Cycling and jogging outdoors requires a sighted guide, as guide dogs are not trained for this kind of activity. Dogs are trained to take their partner's physical cues and visual cues from their surroundings. A blind person who is running may not react quickly enough to avoid cars or other hazards. The advent of drones-guides could change the way the blind community remains active.

At the University of Nevada, the drone is used on the track to allow blind runners to run without a partner. The quadcopter remains only 10 feet in front of the user, using two different cameras to simultaneously track the track and an identification marker added to the runner's shirt, allowing the drone to accelerate or slow down in conjunction with the runner. Still in development, the prototype must meet FAA rules for outdoor use, but could have a positive impact on blind and visually impaired athletes who want to run, bike or ride.

A new way to take pictures: the “dronie”

Mobile phones are the first to have introduced us to the selfie. Nowadays, the drones present us the "dronie", a selfie taken by a drone. Thanks to their miniaturization, the drones are now carried in a purse or in a pocket. The AirSelfie 2 is the newest and best in this trend. This is about the size of your mobile phone and can be controlled using an application. He can walk 60 feet in any direction from your cell phone and take a picture before returning to land.

Traditional selfies or those taken with a selfie pole are not far enough from their subjects to include the landscape or an iconic building. By simply flying the AirSelfie 2 through the iOS or Android app, climbers and hikers can document their adventures atop a mountain. Family photos get an instant update with famous buildings or beautiful scenery in the background. Dancers, musicians and artists can take pictures of themselves in action.

The app syncs with your social media accounts so you can instantly post photos to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by simply choosing the social media platform and sharing your photo using the AirSelfie 2 app. It is a whole new way of capturing and sharing the best moments of your life. It depends upon you how will you use it?


To finish up, the drones will play a vital role in the goals of future clashes and the substitution of the human pilot. Drones are likewise savvy, efficient and groundbreaking. In spite of the fact that, the utilization of drones in the Law-Enforcement area is specialty yet will require the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to have the relevant guidelines which would oversee the correct utilization of 'UAVs or Drones' in a legal way that will bring protection to the people and its nation.