Inga Yandell

Building on our list of the 40 Best Drone Business Ideas 2018 by Oliver McClintock—we explore the remote environments which drones make accessible.

Part Two: Drones and the Environment

From disaster relief to environmental surveillance, farms to forests—drones facilitate access on a much broader scale. Piercing the veil of impenetrable regions with aerial precision, drones allow us to remotely service those in need of medical or survival rations, to span vast ecosystems faster and with more freedom, monitoring wildlife populations and migrations or scouting for signs of climate change (literally giving us a heads-up).

15. Drone Search and Rescue

One of the best applications for aerial technology is the benefit of searching for people that might be lost or hurt. It is far more useful to search for someone uses a drone that has thermal imaging than it is to search for them on the ground at night. It might not be the place to make the most money, but it is possible that some related drone business ideas include making add-on hardware for rescue drones or creating special mapping software for unique missions. Take for example DJI’s partnership with several entrepreneurs who invented a 3D printed utility attachment and a self-releasing delivery capsule to help those in need.

16. Emergency Deliveries

Many companies are looking at delivering small, time-sensitive packages to users via drone. UPS tested a drone to deliver emergency supplies to a coastal children’s camp in Maine this summer. A government partnership in Rwanda delivered blood and emergency supplies via parachute and are now bringing that technology to the US. Those searching for drone business ideas could develop self- release packaging or identify critical delivery services in their local area.

17. News Reporting

UAV pilots have been recording and finding newsworthy stories since they could first fly with cameras. Now outlets like CNN are starting their operations like “CNN AIR” to help tell stories in a more documentary-like way. Local drone pilots could link up with news outlets to help provide coverage of events when the media outlet does not have the time or resources to start their news drone division. Drones like the Phantom 4 are enabling anyone to become a newscaster! They are used all over the country to document local happenings to be shared on Youtube and beyond.

18. Environmental Monitoring and Compliance

Drones can be used to bring new perspectives to protecting our environment. Different departments across the US are using aerial views to monitor everything from coastline erosion to animal species and populations. UAV technology can be a discrete, non-invasive way to inspect vast areas of forest, coastline, and wetlands cost- effectively. New drones from companies like Sensefly are providing flexible ways for drone pilots to protect the world we live in. For those who are passionate about helping protect nature in the US, related drone business ideas could include contracting out with a local environmental department or selling aerial data to these organizations.

19. Protect and Conserve WIldlife

Poachers threaten many endangered animal populations across the globe. These poachers target animals such as elephants and rhinos due to their valuable tusks and horns which can be sold in markets across Asia. Several organizations are using the power of quadcopters to fight back against poachers. Teams like Air Shepherd are working with drones to identify poachers and work with local law enforcement to put an end to this illegal activity.

20. Monitor Natural Disasters

Monitoring natural disasters can be another excellent drone business idea for entrepreneurial remote pilots. By working closely with local law enforcement agencies, pilots could contract out as a third party to provide live aerial images and video of disasters happening in real time. It is essential to note the reckless operation of drones in disaster areas like wildfire fighting can put people’s lives in real danger. However, if appropriately coordinated, drones can provide an excellent view of regions affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and tornadoes. It can help first responders allocate their resources more effectively to help save lives.

21. Meteorology and Weather

Drones are helping weather stations and storm reporters alike get an edge on severe weather. From atmospheric sampling data from multiple sources to taking a real-time video about storms, drones can help us get an edge on mother nature. Those looking for weather-related drone business ideas could partner with a storm chasing team to provide intelligence.

23. Inspect Water Management and Irrigation

Water usage is critical to farmers, especially in areas like the west coast of the US where drought has been taking place for years. For managing water resources more effectively, farmers are now turning to drones to tackle irrigation inefficiencies. Farmers have to deal with potential losses from complicated underground irrigation systems and now can see where their crops either are or are not being watered. Using UAV technology to help improve irrigation also makes a ton of sense for farmers as the areas they manage are often too large to a survey by foot or ground-based vehicle efficiently.

24. Monitor Crop Health for Precision Agriculture

Massive advances in UAV software have enabled farmers to understand their crop health from the skies better. Many drone companies have entered the space to offer a customized drone and software package to increase yields. AgEagle, SenseFly eBee, and PrecisionHawk all target farmers looking to capitalize on the productivity gains that can be had from drone data. UAV business owners could buy one of these drones, master the data analytics, and sell service packages to farmers who do not want to learn or invest in the software themselves.

Author Bio

Oliver McClintock is a tech enthusiast, and his main interests are drones and everything related to aviation gadgets. He shares his experience, product reviews, buyer’s guides, and how-to content on his site called MyDearDrone. It is awarded as one of the top 10 drone blogs of 2018 and a proud supporter of various high-profile events related to tech, aviation, drones, government, security & defense, military, etc.

Crafting a new career and creating your own job has never been easier. In fact, solo entrepreneurs earning six figure incomes is a tangible reality with a book explaining how to do it! This growing free-agent field is expertly explored by independent journalist, Elaine Pofeldt in her new book: The Million-Dollar, One-person Business.

Clearly the avenues, opportunities and definitions around how we earn a living are expanding—mostly due to technology. New technology is firmly ensconced in modern culture and one of the most ubiquitous innovations transforming a diverse arena of human roles in the workforce are drones!

Guest author and tech enthusiast, Oliver McClintock, will unpack 40 of the best drone business ideas for 2018 in this special three part series for BE Journal. Drones have utility to an enormous range of applications and entry-levels, from large-scale enterprises to independent entrepreneurs…the accessibility and adaptability of drones means that, the sky’s the limit when it comes to their potential and our economic future!

Part One: Photography Drone Business Ideas

It is no secret that the demand for drones is skyrocketing across the globe. The global drone market is forecasted to be $127 billion by 2020! Every day, businesses and drone pilots are coming up with new drone business ideas that are fueling an entrepreneurship boom. A combination of new technology, falling prices, and new regulations have combined to unleash aerial advances like never before. Each of these drone uses has potential for a new model or plan, which means there is an opportunity for you to get creative!

If you are looking for how to make money with drones, this is the right place! The opportunities are almost endless, and we are here to help you figure out the best drone business ideas for your situation. It is not as easy as just buying a drone and having people pay you for pictures, however. The FAA has lined out the US rules (Part 107) for commercial drone operations, and drone pilots need to pass a test to become licensed before using drones for business, or face hefty fines.

Once you are an experienced drone pilot, have a drone of your own, and are Part 107 licensed, you are ready to make money with drones! (If you are not licensed, a training class can help you get there). There is way more to having a quadcopter business than just taking pictures of people’s houses and property.

In this series I aim to give you a sense of some of the hottest markets and opportunities to make money with drones right now!

1. Residential Real Estate Drone Photography + Videography

Residential real estate photography is among the best methods to figure out how to use drones for business. Many realtors and homeowners are looking for a way to make their property stand out in a crowded market. With so many buyers searching for homes online, having quality aerial photography and video can help a home sell faster and for more money. We recommend the very popular DJI Phantom 4 Pro or DJI Mavic Pro for real estate photography first timers.

2. Commercial Real Estate Drone Photography + Videography

The commercial real estate is another, arguably more lucrative opportunity for aerial video. Commercial real estate sites are typically larger than residential sites and therefore can effectively use drones to showcase the larger area. Large commercial clients also usually will have a larger budget than residential realtors due to the value of the properties being higher. Aerial video can specifically highlight property features such as specialized assets.

3. Drone Sports Videography

Drones can capture perspectives that have never before been seen in extreme sports. An experienced drone operator can cost much less than a helicopter and get much more closeup footage, which makes for some excellent surfing videos. Filming practice to analyze plays, taking a video of matches to review performance, and getting new perspectives are always that new drone pilots could take advantage here. Many pilots are using the Phantom 4 Pro to get aerial shots of extreme sports by using the ActiveTrack technology which allows the drone to lock on to a moving target. By locking in an extreme sports client, entrepreneurs could excel with this as a gateway to other drone business ideas!

4. Drone Wedding Photography + Videography

Everyone wants their wedding to stand out, especially in the age of social media. Combine that with the ridiculous prices that wedding photographers charge, and aerial wedding videos could be a very lucrative drone business idea for someone who is just starting out. Just try not to crash your drone into the bride.

5. Power Line Inspections

Inspecting power lines in person is very time consuming and expensive. It is also very unsafe for people to physically be on power lines. Powerful new drones equipped with zoom cameras and spectrometers can work with local governments to contract out drone power line inspections at a much lower cost than traditional methods. There is a massive opportunity for drone pilots willing to learn about how the utility industry works to make money with drones!

6. TV and Cell Tower Inspections

Much like power lines, traditionally manned inspections are risky and fraught with danger for the inspector. Drones can make these inspections cheaper and safer for everyone involved. The latest drones can provide high-resolution images that allow owners to see if there is damage from weather, old age, or even wildlife! Getting into the cell tower inspection game has a higher barrier to entry than some others, but could be one of the best margin drone business ideas on this list.

7. Solar Installation Inspections

Thermal cameras (like those from a well-known manufacturer, FLIR) can integrate with more and more consumer drones. New pilots can find excellent drone business ideas related to the inspection of solar arrays. By helping a company manage the productivity of these assets and identify problems, they can save a ton of time and money. By flying a thermal imaging drone, it can locate any damaged solar panels and use that intelligence to act before problems get too big.

8. Forestry

Drones can help those in the forestry industry both protect and monitor the health of forests while reducing costs to test commercial value of the forested property. Instead of walking through the woods in person, operators can fly drones over areas they wish to inspect and assess tree health from above. It could save both time and money while apprising the pilot of any issues like storm damage or illegal logging activity.

9. Wind Turbine Inspections

At the beginning of 2015, there were over 270,000 wind turbines in operation, with 800,000 blades in service. Drones can be used to inspect these turbine blades for damage caused by wear and tear, mechanical failure, weather events, or bird strikes. Inspection is valuable because fixing or replacing a rotor before failure is way less expensive and dangerous than a blade failure in the field. Sometimes you will even find more than you bargain for the pilot.

10. Oil and Gas Pipeline Monitoring

You know that a drone business idea is taking off when a big company like GE gets a hold. GE developed their drone to monitor gas leaks all over their service network. The drone allows them to respond faster, and to bring the right equipment for the level of the leak. It results in happier customers who are not losing as much money to the leak in the long run. Drone pilots and entrepreneurs would do well to link up with a larger company and find this type of inspection contract work.

11. Critical Infrastructure Inspection

Many state departments across the country grapple with limited budgets and aging infrastructure. Aerial inspection drones offer a solution for low-cost, accurate, high-resolution inspections. They can also typically be completed in less time than a traditional manned inspection while producing better results. By using quadcopters for bridge and infrastructure inspection, local municipalities can have a higher level of understanding about the actual health of assets and assess them at a reduced cost.

12. Roof Inspections

Roof inspections are one of the quickest entry points for people looking for drone business ideas. Almost everyone knows a friend or family member that has had their roof damaged in a storm or is looking at getting it replaced. Drone-based roof inspections are an excellent way to keep contractors honest and reduce quoted prices. They can also help validate insurance claims and make sure that both the insurer and homeowner are getting a fair assessment of any damage.

13. Drone Aerial Mapping and Surveying

Drone startups all over the country are developing great software to perform elevation, 3D, and orthomosaic maps. These maps can help clients scope out work to be done on a construction site, validate earthwork done by contractors, and ensure that properties are valued accurately and appropriately. Startups like DroneDeploy and Airware are making huge steps in the drone software industry and are gaining VC funding as well.

14. Insurance Claim Validation

Many insurance companies and homeowners want to make sure they are getting a fair assessment of any property damage. From validating fire damage to seeing if a roof needs to be replaced after a storm, aerial inspection can help substantiate claims. A new drone pilot could approach an insurance company to be a contracted third party who could perform on-site inspections on-call.

Author Bio

Oliver McClintock is a tech enthusiast, and his main interests are drones and everything related to aviation gadgets. He shares his experience, product reviews, buyer’s guides, and how-to content on his site called MyDearDrone. It is awarded as one of the top 10 drone blogs of 2018 and a proud supporter of various high-profile events related to tech, aviation, drones, government, security & defense, military, etc.

A passionate droner, Oliver works around the clock to contribute something great to the drone community. If you are a UAV fan, MyDearDrone will become your favourite, one-stop destination for all things drones.

To discover a passion that gives you purpose, is a gift immeasurable to the riches of life—some people simply inspire this as part of their nature.

I was first introduced to the work of Panthera watching a segment on 60 Minutes where this indomitable character spoke with such insight and urgency about their conservation strategies. It was of course Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, a man who fits the description of Indiana Jones so well that people had begun calling him: The Indiana Jones of Wildlife. Adventurous, dedicated and truly interested in native people and wildlife, Dr. Rabinowitz was a hero to those most in need (the voiceless).

This Instagram message summaries Rabinowitz’s approach to conservation:

“Each new year we need to remember all the innocents of the world who have nothing or no one to defend them, people and animals. People often ask me how can they help in what I do? Just give back and make it about other lives, not yours. People and animals.”

Panthera is the legacy which Rabinowitz leaves behind, both his persona and hands on approach helped expand the Foundations global presence. Mentoring communities and young scientists to support autonomy and accountability for the well-being of people and wildlife.

On behalf of his family, and all those touched by his generosity and passion—may we carry your memory and mission in our hearts and through our actions.

His life in words from the people who knew him best….

The Board and staff of Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, mourn the loss of our co-founder and one of the world’s most visionary and widely admired wild cat scientists, Dr. Alan Robert Rabinowitz, 64, who died August 6 (2018) after a journey with cancer.

Panthera CEO and President, Dr. Fred Launay:

“The conservation community has lost a legend. Alan was a fearless and outspoken champion for the conservation of our planet’s iconic wild cats and wild places. As a lifelong voice for the voiceless, he changed the fate of tigers, jaguars and other at-risk species by placing their protection on the agendas of world leaders from Asia to Latin America for the very first time.”

Launay continued, “Inspiring a generation of young scientists, the boldness and passion with which Alan approached conservation was captivating and contagious. While we are devastated by his passing, we are comforted by the fact that his extraordinary legacy of advocacy for the most vulnerable creatures will live on in his legion of students and followers.”

“Our thoughts are with Alan’s wife Salisa and their children, Alexander and Alana, for whom Alan was a real-life superhero.”

Panthera Chairman and Co-Founder, Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan:

“For those who became part of his astonishing and inspiring journey to save the big cats and their ecosystems, the impact of experiencing the intellectual and animal spirits that defined Alan Rabinowitz was, not unlike the moment one sees a big cat in the wild, simply unforgettable.”

“Through the young people whose talents he galvanized and mentored, standing upon Alan’s broad shoulders and implementing his vision, the trajectory of cat conservation that Panthera has succeeded in changing for the good will endure and indeed thrive.”

“My wife Daphne and I express our supreme gratitude for the life-changing partnership and camaraderie that he brought to our lives, and pledge to keep the abiding faith that he never lost and always inspired.”

In a career spanning more than three decades, Dr. Rabinowitz was, above all, a protector and global advocate for wild cats and other threatened wildlife, the diminishing lands in which they roam, and the often impoverished people living near these cats and other wildlife.

Among a lengthy seminal list, some of his crowning conservation achievements are the conceptualization and implementation of Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative, an unprecedented effort to connect and protect jaguars from Mexico to Argentina, and the establishment of the world’s first jaguar sanctuary in Belize. Forever in awe of the magnificence of the tiger – the world’s largest cat – Dr. Rabinowitz achieved victory after victory for the species, including the creation of the largest tiger reserve, the Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve, in northern Myanmar.

Panthera Jaguar Program Executive Director, Dr. Howard Quigley:

“Alan lived such an impactful life, for everyone who met him, and for the wildlife he cared so passionately about. For all of us who were inspired by him, our mission now is to honor Alan’s legacy by securing the future for all wild cats.”

Panthera Science Council Vice Chair, Dr. George Schaller:

“I have collaborated with Alan on projects for nearly four decades, and his knowledge, vision, determination, and passionate voice on behalf of the big cats and other wildlife has inspired me and many others to be advocates for protecting nature’s beauty.”

Panthera Conservation Council Co-Chair, Jane Alexander:

“Alan Rabinowitz came into my life in the early ’80s when he, a young scientist studying jaguars in Belize, and I, an actress with a screenplay about jaguars, took me out at night to track their whereabouts in the jungle. We became life-long friends. He inspired me to become the conservationist I am today, as he has inspired thousands of people the world over with his courage, commitment and perseverance. There was no finer man, the toughest, yet deeply kind.”

Read more about the career of Alan Rabinowitz.

Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to preserving wild cats and their critical role in the world’s ecosystems. Panthera’s team of leading biologists, law enforcement experts, and wild cat advocates develop innovative strategies based on the best available science to protect cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards, and tigers and their vast landscapes. In 36 countries around the world, Panthera works with a wide variety of stakeholders to reduce or eliminate the most pressing threats to wild cats—securing their future, and ours. Visit panthera.org.

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Why are Panthera paying such close attention to 197F, the sole wild tiger in a massive wildlife sanctuary in Southeast Asia? Because the science shows that all the elements needed for a tiger recovery in that part of the region are there: plenty of space, prey, and protection.

197F is the key to unlocking that potential.

With just 3,900 wild tigers left on Earth, every tiger counts.

If 197F finds the mate she’s so desperately seeking, their cubs will soon spread out and claim new territory and mates of their own. As Panthera have seen in many of their Tigers Forever sites, it is possible to rebuild healthy populations of tigers, even where there are very few to start.

This Global Tiger Day (July 29th), will you join Panthera with a gift to protect and recover critically endangered tigers?

The stakes are high. That’s why Panthera are speeding resources to the areas where 197F and her potential mates are roaming to:

• Increase monitoring of tigers, prey, and human activity in the area;
• Train rangers to use the latest technology to document forest crimes;
• Ramp up patrols at border areas to ID poacher access points and stage ambushes;
• Seize motorbikes used by illegal loggers who often poach wildlife, too;
• Reduce illegal activities in the park by providing viable alternatives to local people

By locking down these critical passageways, we hope to make it possible for three to five new populations of tigers to take hold in the region and plant the seeds of a full-scale recovery.

Checkout Panthera’s infographic telling 197F’s story of adventure and hope.

You can help Panthera rebuild tiger territory by donating this #globaltigerday

“It is not where you are from, but where you are going that is important.”

–Robert Ian Bonnick

Natural born entertainer Robert Ian Bonnick aka RiB has had an enviable career and glamorous life rubbing shoulders with the famous and elite. He danced for M-People, Womack and Womack, recruited for Madonna, and modelled alongside Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Eva Herzigová. Travelling the globe, hosting events for the world’s biggest stars—a lucky life one would assume. But luck was not the catalyst for his success—instead adversity was his ally as an artist.

Rob started out with almost NOTHING. He suffered a tumultuous childhood, abandoned to an orphanage before his first birthday. For the next 18 years at the orphanage, Rob was faced with a choice. Would he choose to reflect and follow the path of fellow orphans who ended up in jail or dead, or instead choose to step into his greatest potential as a human being?

In his first memoir Soul Survivor, Robert shares his exploration and study of what connects, inspires and motivates us as human beings.

The book relates Robert’s philosophy on adversity through what he calls ‘the five keys’ and relates the lessons of 20 years studying with some of the best educators and thought leaders on the planet. The sum of his experiences provided him with the opportunity and purpose of finding ways to bring together vastly different groups of people by inspiring them to learn more about themselves and each other.

Written with humour and humility, the book has much to offer anyone seeking a constructive anchor for the adversities which touch us all.

BE Journal asked Robert: How to Redefine and Adversity and Unleash Creative Potential

I’m becoming more and more aware that growing up in two orphanages for eighteen years gave me the key to unlock the door to discover my purpose and thus unleash my creative potential. For example, if my purpose is to inspire people to realise that it’s not where you start in your life but where you are going that matters. Despite all of the incredible things that you can achieve in your life—it would all be for nothing unless you learn to accept or love yourself. Finally, to support diversity and inclusion wherever I go. To celebrate what makes us unique whilst bringing us; people of different ideologies colours and views of life, together around our humanity creating greater compassion for one another in the process.

If all the above is true (which it is)….then l had the perfect start!

I experienced what it was like to be the youngest of eighteen children at any one point in time in an orphanage and be subjected to racism, classicism, bullying, fellow peers being killed and beaten. I know what it’s like to suffer major identity issues and challenges; for twelve years I identified with caucasian values and appearances even though I am 6 ft 3 inches tall black man of Jamaican heritage. I know what it’s like to fail to recognise the beauty of my own people, unless they had caucasian features. To have people say things like “oh you sounded like a white guy on the phone” and “I don’t like black people but you’re alright” and being proud of that! Then realising this was all due to my failure to accept myself.

I had the opportunity to study over two decades, self development and human potential with some of the most well known thought leaders in the world. This allowed me to understand the process not only of embracing who I truly am but who we truly are too regardless of race, colour, and ideology then, as a Keynote Speaker, Coach and Trainer, how to bring others into this same state of awareness as well.

I had the opportunity to mix with celebrities and high profile people to realise we are all truly the same—in that we all have our specific challenges in life to overcome… if we choose to. I became a successful, model (working with Supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Eva Hertzigova and Christy Turlington), worked with Madonna, danced for (Womack and Womack, The Word – Channel 4, M-People), Actor (I Guastafeste—the Italian Candid Camera) Night Club promoter (one of the venues I was heavily involved in was voted number three in the world), As an athlete (played basketball for England and National League and in Europe), more recently, speaker, trainer, author and family man.

As a result of my upbringing learning how to meditate and all the lessons I learned along the way with through the support of some extremely charitable people, I found five keys:

1. Get Yourself A Dream or better still A Purpose

2. Accept where you are today (You Can Change it)

3. Visualise, Visualise, Visualise to the point of Insanity

4. Overcoming the Speed humps of self-sabotage

5. Surrender–Timing

When I followed these, I have always satisfied the innermost desires of my heart each key of which I go into detail giving you a chance to road test for yourself in my book.

As a result of what many of my fellow orphans passed on to me, I created three fundamentals truths which I always live by and have always served me well. 

1. I never forget where I’m from. 

2. I never forget who helped me to get where l am today.

3. I always give back where l can without the expectation of gaining anything in return.

Connect with Robert via: robertianbonnick.com or @robertianbonnick

Soul Survivor (New Holland Publishers) newhollandpublishers.com