Just like the Internet of Things (IoT) in which various devices, sensors, actuators etc. are connected to each other by the internet which enables the devices to exchange data to create direct integration of the physical devices in a computer based system. In like manner the same concept is applied in the Internet of Drones (IoD) in which various drones are connected to each other by the internet. IoD is an architecture which is specially designed to control the airspace of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by providing coordinated access. The recent developments in miniaturization of the sensors, processors and connectivity solutions have made the implementation of the IoD easier in the UAVs.
The possibilities of implementation of IoD in UAVs can be endless. There are many applications ranging from cinematography, agriculture, search and rescue, traffic and wild life surveillance, inspection of infrastructure, on-demand package delivery. All these applications share a common need of navigation and airspace management for which IoD can be a generic service which can provide a foundation for the current and future applications. Among these applications in the near future the aerial package delivery is the application where IoD can be applied as it would require robust airspace allocation architecture to avoid the potential conflicts between navigating drones along similar or intersecting routes in the same geographical area.
“Drones could benefit the global logistics industry”
The benefit to the global logistics industry is clear as drones could lead us to a new era of on-demand package delivery system. It can be seen that drone delivery system can be more cost effective than the ground-based delivery system. Companies like Amazon, Dominos Google, Ukrainian Postal Service, Mercedes, DHL and some others are currently working on this technology. Amazon has been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a delivery drone that can respond to human gestures. Amazon is planning to develop a fleet of UAVs that can deliver packages to their customers within 30mins or less. This patent may help Amazon grapple with the interactions between customers and delivery drones.
A Drone Start-up company Zipline international has the most important breakthrough since amazon prime. Zipline has conducted up to 500 drone flights a day, delivering packages accurately and without damage. The company has launched the world’s fastest commercial drone and the packages it delivers are blood bags in the hard-to-reach areas in East Africa. This puts Zipline ahead of tech giants like Amazon & Google that are experimenting with drones for shipping.
“Drones industry in moving towards the era of Internet of Drones (IoD)”
Flytbase is an Indian company to introduce the world’s first Internet of Drones (IoD) platform, which allows easy deployment of intelligent drones, connected with cloud-based business applications and Flytbase is compatible with all major drones and hardware platform in the market. Introduction of cloud based platforms from such companies would help developers with availability of ready tools to build innovative products and offer new services.
Another Moldova based company Icevo is also developing the DroneRoute Platform, for the Internet of Drones. This company allows visualization of all the flying drones on the map and enable the interaction with own drone. The communication with the drones is bidirectional which means drones can be controlled remotely using the new IoT mobile standards LTE Cat M1/NB1. The company’s goal is implementing these solutions in package delivery by drones.
In the near future, many new companies will emerge offering such platforms which will offer a huge boost for the development of Internet of Drones (IoD) in the UAV Industry. Although, the current laws are very restrictive in many countries regarding the flight of drones in airspace which can be a major hurdle for IoD, this will change in the future with such technologies emerging. These platforms can also provide a view to the authorities for monitoring the drones in a particular airspace which they are lacking right now. So, with higher visibility and control over the airspace the current laws can be relaxed and finally we can see the Internet of Drones era becoming a reality.