High-Flying Drone Companies - dummies

High-Flying Drone Companies

By Mark LaFay

As the drone market continues to explode over the next several years and decades, there will be numerous companies getting into the fray. Currently there are several companies making a lot of noise in the world of unmanned aerial vehicles. You may find it worthwhile to check them out so that you can be in the know on what’s going on in drone town.

Google

Google X is a secretive department within Google that’s sole purpose is to develop major revolutionary technology. Several initiatives have already become public out of the Google X department, including self-driving cars, Project Wing, and Glass. But the most relevant is Project Wing, Google’s automated drone program.

Project Wing has become a little more public now that Google has begun testing in remote areas of Australia. Their drone model is designed for long-range, low-energy delivery of materials to remote areas. It is also likely to evolve as they continue to test and innovate.

DHL

DHL is a major global package delivery service based out of Germany. They recently announced that they have begun using their Parcelcopter to conduct delivers of medical supplies to a German island. The flight is largely automated through computer controls and it takes roughly 15 minutes each-way and is primarily a long-term test of the new technology. Their long-term vision is to use drone technology to service customers in remote and inaccessible areas.

Amazon

Amazon is one of the largest e-retailers in the world. Their growth is attributed largely to the leadership of CEO Jeff Bezos. Amazon recently unveiled their drone delivery program called Prime Air, which aims to get packages into the hands of customers in 30 minutes or less. The Prime Air delivery service was developed in Amazon’s next generation R&D lab and is poised for launch in 2015 when the FAA officially puts into place legislation governing commercial UAV usage.

Facebook

Facebook is another household name that has opted to get into the drone business. Facebook’s primary motivator, however, is to create a system for delivering Internet access to remote areas of the world that do not yet have access to the Internet. Facebook is working to create ultra-light, solar powered planes that can fly almost indefinitely broadcasting ultra-high wireless signals to these parts of the world. What’s exciting about this is the potential to revolutionize wireless communications.

GoPro

GoPro is an action camera company that exploded on the scene by offering great quality video solutions for action sports enthusiasts regardless of their environment. GoPro cameras are used in pretty much every action sport. They have water proof housings, capture high quality footage, and they are small enough to fit on a headband or attached to the body of a drone. GoPro cameras and drones go together like peanut butter and jelly. So much so that GoPro is planning to release their own drone by 2016!