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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Drones to the Rescue!

If you've noticed that it's taking a lot longer to get from Point A to Point B here in the Lehigh Valley, it's not your imagination. Lehigh Valley Planning Director Becky Bradley predicted this would happen back in 2015. A booming economy, Panama Canal expansion and a gigantic Fed Ex in Allen Township have all played a role. Municipalities can deter gigantic trucks from some rural communities by refusing to widen roads and bridges as PennDOT insists. But there will still be a lot more people on the road. Fortunately, one recent invention, the simple drone, might help combat this traffic overload. Though still viewed mostly as a novelty or toy, unmanned aerial vehicles have actually been in existence for centuries.  In the current form, there are already some positive applications, with more on the way.

Firefighting - Not only have they been effective for wildfires, but they are also assisting urban fire departments. The use of a drone can determine where a fire has originated in a burning structure, and can also check for occupants.

Replanting forests - Drones are being used to re-seed mountainsides and other open space that have been timbered.

Protect endangered wildlife - Drones are being used in Africa to protect elephants and keep an eye out for poachers. 

Delivery drones - Amazon, Google and UPS are all experimenting with the possible use of drones to deliver smaller packages, which would reduce truck traffic.While I'm no engineer, I think this will be easier in rural communities where utility lines are underground.

Medical emergencies - Drones are in development right now that can respond to medical emergencies with defibrillators and other supplies.     

Disaster relief - Drones can operate in conditions that are unsuitable for manned aircraft, providing valuable data about conditions on the ground. They can also be used to transport supplies to an area that is hit by a natural disaster.

Agriculture -  Uses include planting, spraying, irrigation and sophisticated soil and field analysis.

I could drone on, but I'll stop.


Anonymous said...

You mention some positive uses of drones.the nice part about drones are that they are hardware and expendable.
the downside--Officer Friendly has drone overhead and you went over the speed limit and a computer mails the citation to you.
Or films everyone at a protest and runs that through photo id software and the po-po have a list of people to keep an eye on.
a politician does the same and generates a "enemies list".
you're walking a dog around the neighborhood and every 30 seconds a drone with a strobe light reminds you Alpo is the best dog food.
and you could lose some weight by trying this gym.
and God help us around election time-yup dive bombed by drones with flyers and chants about how candidate "x" is a bad guy.
Also due to advances in computer power Amazon can now drop your package in your pool or on your roof then smash into the pizza drone raining plastic and hot cheese everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and those confounded internal combustion engines! Get a horse!

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:30, The point if this story was to mention some positive uses. There have been plenty of stories about the negatives.

Anonymous said...

Plus you can pick up your girlfriend.

Anonymous said...

flying drones will not reduce road congestion by any real amount.
What the shipping companies want to do is to remove the human element as much as possible.
a shipping container is loaded by robots onto a ship that has no crew (except one guy with a crescent wrench to fix mechanical problems) that sails across the ocean under robotic control,unloaded by robots onto robotic trucks that are computer driven to any destination.
the shipping companies want to put the equivalent of a train but on a road network.
fifty or a hundred electric powered trucks (electric because the maintenance is easier and cheaper)will gather and move down say 78.One vehicle will be the truck with power which will recharge the others as they move.as the individual trucks near their destination they break off and move to the local site to await unloading.Other empty trucks will join the network of trucks to the next depot to be loaded.
This will be a 24/7 operation with the key being the idea of limiting humans having to be involved.robots do not get overtime or healthcare.
The idea is to make more profit by reducing costs.
The effect of this will be far reaching,for example a robot truck does not need a windshield so glass companies will suffer.
In time your personal car will be integrated into the mix with your speed being controlled and removing your input to as little as possible.
Want to get ahead of one of these trains-only if the master controller lets you do it.That controller of course will be designed to make Amazon happy not Joe Blow.so get used to being a lower priority when you want to go somewhere.
On the bright side you should have fewer accidents and lower energy costs to move goods.

Anonymous said...

Robots have also eliminated the human element from a variety of life-saving medical procedures. The mentality above is the same one that required firemen (coal shovelers) on trains for 40 years after diesels replaced coal fired locomotives.

Robots will certainly eliminate tens of millions of jobs in the next 20 years. As our population moves quickly toward 400 million (500 million will be a very short step after that), we should have an honest discussion about where all those people are going to work. Government jobs are all filled up and the government is $21 trillion in debt. What's the plan?

Anonymous said...

Do not worry the railroads and airlines want to use robots as well.
So when a cargo plane sucks in the Domino's drone and blows an engine the wreckage hopefully will miss your house.
On the bright side no pilot will die.
As to 21 trillion in debt-well cancel the F-35 program as it is expected to cost 3 trillion overr it's lifespan(it also does not do the job it claims to be able to do)
Replace it with a drone aircraft as you do not have to write the widow when a drone gets blown out of the sky.
The current limit on fighter aircraft is that the pilot can not take the g forces that the machine can.
not to mention without a pilot you save millions on training and have a smaller more lethal plane.

Anonymous said...

You can utilize a drone to deliver pork in Nazareth !