Technology

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.

Choosing a school which nurtures the potential of your children, is important to all parents—but perhaps more challenging for those with special needs. Depending on the challenges impeding the learning of a child (be they physical: impaired mobility, vision, hearing, or neurological, as with autism and attention deficits) the search for schools with the capacity to cater for, and even specialise in overcoming educational hurdles, can become extremely stressful.

Emerging techniques and technology can help bridge this gap, and the more ubiquitous these tools become in the educational sphere, the more diverse our choices for learning are. This is the subject of a new book entitled: ‘Is My Child Ready for School?’ by Special Educator, mother and author, Karen Seinor. The narrative is primed for supporting parents in making an informed decision about their child education, with nuance for the expansive options in special needs learning. The pitfalls to avoid and the facilities and approaches which signify a school that is open to the potential of technology in optimising learning for all children (not just those with special needs).

Karen’s research and experience offers a glimpse at the future of learning, and an effective strategy for accessing your options right now. BE Journal asked Senior to paint a picture of what this might look like, and how it could be applied.

Technology has improved learning for students with special needs in many ways but recently technology has enabled the mainstream classroom and curriculum to be more inclusive and accessible. Students with special needs are better supported in a number of ways.

For example in the school that I teach at two children have a vision impairment, both study brail with the use of a braille keyboard and they regularly Skype with their braille teacher. In the past they wouldn’t have access to this in a mainstream classroom or they may have a specialist teacher visit once a week, now they are able to have personalised instruction in their classroom on a regular basis. Children with vision impairments are also better supported in a number of ways. Through the use of iPads, learning material can be accessed so the size may be increased so that are better able to read it, or they can use audio functions to listen to the material rather than read it. This also means they don’t require a teachers aide or specialist teacher to be attached to them all the time which is positive for developing their independence but also in a social sense as they don’t appear so different to the other students and equally as capable.

Children with hearing impairment are also benefiting from the increase technology in classrooms. Teachers simply wear a headset that transmits into there hearing aid so that the student is clearly able hear instructions and information. A simple device and modification enables hearing impaired students to operate in a mainstream classroom with virtually no extra support from teachers aids.

The increasing amount of apps or programs have also optimised potential for students with special needs. There are many apps/programs that assist students to record information and present their ideas in a way that may have not been possible in the past. For example a child that may be limited orally can now use an app to share their ideas, or design tutorials, animated stories, and presentations. The teacher can then mirror this to the Apple TV and this can be shared with the class. Tools such as these are particularly powerful when they are interactive and promote social exchanges with their peers and also when they highlight the capabilities of the students.

In my opinion the greatest change that technology has created is that it has supported teachers to explore new methodologies and philosophies about how children are taught. Teachers are moving away from the old industrial mode of teaching, where one size fits all or teaching to the middle. Educators are now realising that all students should have there learning individualised, the focus is not on what we teach but how we teach. When the interests, passions and abilities of our students
drive the learning only then learning is optimised for all students.

About the book: Is My Child Ready for School? (New Holland Books, 2018) is a guide for parents on all things school. Based on current research on brain development and insights from many years of teaching, it examines many aspects of development related to learning. Whilst based on theory, there are practical and simple suggestions to help parents make the important decision about when to start school and what skills and knowledge are required. It also provides tips on selecting a school, how to make a smooth and successful transition to school and, how to support your child in their first year of learning.

About the Author: Karen Seinor has been a passionate educator for over 17 years. She has worked as both a classroom teacher and an ESL teacher and whilst she has enjoyed her many roles as a teacher, her passion lies in Kindergarten, which she taught for many years. She has a focus on education in Australia as she examines key issues through the lens of both teacher and parent.

To ensure a prosperous career in a climate of lightening innovation and constant evolution, gain a vital edge with smart forecasting and insider knowledge.

It’s hard to ignore the tide of technological advancement and its diverse applications in today’s world, and our dependance and integration of these breakthroughs is unlikely to fade in the future.

The zeitgeist of our time is driven by a movement towards intelligent technologies and so the wise who seek meaningful, expansive, and challenging roles in this future might well look at engineering as a smart career choice.

We asked leading career coach, Ray Pavri, to interpret the multi-dimensional value of engineering as a catalyst profession for conservation, science, medicine and more…

Engineers can transform the world into a better place and maintain the world to stay as a better place.

Both have relevance, but is engineering a smart career choice in 2018 and beyond?

Yes, but you must think beyond the stereotypical applications of engineering in traditional industries like mining, oil and gas, coal fired power generation and manufacturing. You’ve got to shift your attention to growing industries such as the environment including air, food & water quality and health. Engineering for an ageing population, urban infrastructure related engineering to cope with growing cities, engineering within defence within what is an ever-changing international climate and agriculture related technology innovation enforcing Australia as the food bowl of Asia. This is where the future will be, for a lot of young engineers.

Irrespective of whether it’s transforming or maintaining type of work as an engineer, if you embark on your engineering career with a genuine love of what you are doing alongside creativity, initiative, business acumen, communication skills and connectedness with others, you will do well.

A lot of engineers facing frustrations in the mid to late stages of their life have lost sight of what makes them happy, being chained to lifestyles rather than de-linking, re-calibrating and re-engaging in areas which they’d get joy out of. It is hard to make the world a better place and through that get true joy in being an engineer, if your own head space does not get better.

Take the example of Professor Ana Deletic, a one of Australia’s innovative engineers for 2017. She created a technology called “green-blue walls” for installation as small planter boxes on walls, taking up entire walls of multi-story buildings, with gravity and plant roots doing the job of percolating greywater and stormwater within urbanised areas. The phosphorus concentrations being extracted also reduce local temperatures, increase biodiversity and the amenity value of urban areas. There are many applications of this technology and it will transform the world into a better place.

Other Australian engineers who are enjoying what they are doing and excelling in their own sub-disciplines include:

Tony Lavorato (Complex Cantilevering Over Heritage Structures)
Wes Johnston (Mobile Swing-stage Gantry)
Gregory Kelly (Flooded Roads Smart Warning System)
Dr Madhu Bhaskaran (Stretchable Oxide Electronics)
Simon St Hill (Heat Recovery Power Generator)
Peter Atherton (New Clinical Waste Management)
Dr Richard Kelso (Low Drag Bicycle Helmets)
Professor Sandra Kentish (Storing CO2 in Microalgae)
Dan Copelin (Virtual Pipes)

See a full list of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers @ innovativeengineers.com.au

So how can you set yourself apart in the world of engineering?

Seek inspiration and reach out to others. Connecting with others is a sure-fire way to improve your career success.

This need not start only when you are in the work force. It should start even while you are at Uni as a group of students at the University of NSW have done. A team of engineering students from the University of NSW, physicists, lawyers, communications specialists and musicians teamed up to design a DNA scaffold that could help find a cure for HIV. This innovation earned the UNSW students the Grand Prize at Harvard’s annual BIOMOD competition.
To connect though, you need a good range of soft skills.

Too often engineers are remaining in silos rather that reaching out to others – after all engineering has day-to-day applications and for that to happen you need to connect with the full fabric of society.

It is also important for engineers to understand market context, relating what they are doing to current and future market needs. There are several engineering related Phd’s who show untapped potential driving Ubers when they could be re-shaping the world – all because of the desire to create the perfect mouse trap which no one wants.

Another imperative to make it in engineering in the modern world is to keep up with societal challenges and that means keeping up with what is in the news both here and globally. It is about keeping an eye out for the “wouldn’t it be nice if” societal needs because inherent within these needs, lie creative engineered solutions which could turn the world on its head. Australian engineers are equally placed as engineers globally to change this world we live in.

The future of engineering as a smart career choice lies in its diverse applications – industrial batteries adjoining intermittent power generation like wind and solar. Or in smart devices proliferating society and work places within the internet of things revolution. Or in driverless cars, driverless trains at mining sites and now driverless cargo ships within the broader automation revolution taking shape.

When you start to think about the application of engineering to the world’s problems, the opportunities seem endless.

Ray Pavri is Australia’s most respected career coach for degree-qualified engineers. A career professional with an MBA in Business, Ray has held senior roles with many large organisations in Australia. But his real passion is working with engineers and technical professionals at all levels of management who are stagnating in their careers.

For the past twenty years, Ray has helped over 4,000 technical professionals escape the work trap dilemma to discover more rewarding and meaningful careers. As founder of Watt Electrical News, a premier online resource within the global electrical community, and My Electrical Community, a peer-to-peer business and social network, Ray is devoted to improving the lives of technical professionals throughout Eastern Australia. Connect with the Career Coach @ jobtransitionstrategy.com

YouTube Preview Image

Lume Cube, creator of The World’s Most Versatile Light, brought some of the world’s greatest athletes to Interlaken, Switzerland to step out of their comfort zones and into the night. Watch Jamie O’Brien, Sean “Poopies” McInerney, Austin Keen, Nick Jacobsen, Kalani Chapman, Kaikea Elias and more do some of the most insane adventure sports up in the Swiss Alps, all in the middle of the night with 250 LUME CUBES!

Create by Night @LumeCube, lumecube.com