We can all agree that 2020 was challenging and weird for everyone. And we’re all glad it’s gone. It blew away our expectations of what a start of the 20s should look like. However, through all the stressful headlines, people, and organizations using drones for good have brought a ray of light in our everyday lives. For drone enthusiasts, especially, these stories motivated and inspired us and made us believe there is still plenty of kindness and positivity in the world. From drone innovations and rescue missions to drone deliveries and everything in between, here are some of the 2020 drone stories that will warm your heart.
1. A man finds a ten-days-lost dog with the help of his drone
Brian James, a travel guide and a licensed drone operator, from Cairo, NY, saw online that a golden retriever pup called Meadow has been missing for ten days. This was enough for him to take his drone and check out the place where the dog has been last spotted.
While he was flying his drone, suddenly he had a visual of something resembling a puppy. He ran to the spot and Meadow was soon reunited with her family.
This heart-warming story quickly gripped the nation and even made the national news. Check out the video below for more details.
2. We have a chance to plant more trees and save the planet thanks to drones
The planet is losing its trees – from massive fires to intentional and unauthorized tree-cutting. Additionally, deforestation has increased by 43%.
However, more and more innovative startups and other organizations are working to combat this challenge. And they plan to do this with drones. This positive news encouraged us this year to research the process as well as some of the companies that are leading the pack in this effort to end deforestation. Some of them include BioCarbon Engineering, DroneSeed, AirSeed, Dendra, Flash Forest, Dronecoria, and more.
Source: Dendra, DJI, BioCarbon Engineering
Armed with advanced software solutions, and sometimes even AI, drones can scan the area they’re supposed to reforest. They’re loaded with pods containing germinated seeds, which they shoot into the ground where it’s suitable.
3. Drones join the fight against COVID-19
Of course, we can’t talk about the stories that marked 2020 without mentioning the world-spanning pandemic of COVID-19. While humanity has been facing one of its greatest modern challenges, drones joined the effort to help. Whether it’s aerial spraying, transportation, or monitoring public space, we’re witnesses that drones, and technology in general, can indeed be used for good. This usage of drones has been seen in numerous countries all across the world from Rwanda and the UK to the USA and China, and many more.
Drones represent a real solution for keeping the supply chain strong and deliver products in these unique times of physical distancing. One of the greatest usages of drones this year in this area has been delivering medical equipment, masks, test samples, and more. What’s more, some initiatives of delivering vaccines by drone are in place.
4. Drones drop presents and bring cheer to kids and adults alike
As the year was slowly coming to an end, the holidays have brought cheer to many kids. Enter drones and surprise drone drops of presents! That’s right – the Kids First Initiative from Michigan did precisely this.
What’s more, they delivered presents to kids by dropping them in front of their homes using a drone. This way, kids got a double surprise – the presents, themselves, as well as a close encounter with drone technology. Indeed, children are getting more and more interested in STEM at a very young age. They’re even playing with drone toys and toys for kids to learn more about technology and innovation.
Adults get excited by surprise drone drops, too. What’s more, Rich Brian, an artist from Indonesia, used a drone to give his friends gifts. You can check out how he did this in the music video for his song BALI.
5. A drone transported a human organ across the Nevada desert
Is the future of organ transport here? Some may argue that it is. MissionGo has demonstrated that this is achievable with its partner Nevada Donor Network. What’s more, the two organizations have arranged two drone test flights. During these flights, drones successfully managed to transport organs for transplant – human kidneys and corneas across the Nevada desert. To be more precise, one of these flights represents the longest organ delivery flight by a UAV.
From MissionGo, they say that this way of delivering organs for transplant is more efficient. Plus, it can reduce the carbon footprint of each delivery.
6. Saving koalas thanks to drones with thermal imaging
After many of these furry animals were injured during the wildfires that devastated Australia’s forests, drones with thermal cameras came to save the day. The DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual drones flew over the critical areas in search of surviving koalas.
Moreover, the thermal and visual images that they captured were analyzed to determine the animals’ state. Then, the koalas were picked up from the trees by cherry pickers. And they were sent to a special triage center in Victoria.
Source: The Guardian
Aside from koalas, though, drones discovered many other affected animals in the areas that were in the fire for days.
7. Researchers can access hard-to-reach places with drones
Thanks to new technology, including drones, inaccessible places are now suddenly becoming accessible to researchers. Moreover, the company Flyability is one of the pioneers in this field. It brought us great news when its drone Elios helped researchers investigate the movement of water in the deep shafts of the Greenland ice.
Further, the company’s drone Elios 2 entered Reactor 5 at the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site this year for the first time after thirty-three years.
Disaster response drones have also helped in many devastating occurrences. People use them to map the areas, search for survivors, take images and video footage for news coverage, and similar.
8. Locating and rescuing missing people with drones
Unfortunately, we have read plenty of stories of missing people in the news recently. A few of them concluded with a happy ending.
One of them is when a man found a woman and a dog on the beach. He was flying his drone recreationally when it detected the woman. DJI’s vice-president of Policy and Legal Affairs even tweeted about this.
Another story that brought a bit of positivity was resolving a missing person case by the Stafford Sheriff’s office. Further, a drone team went out to look for the person lost in the woods in Virginia with a police drone. Eventually, they found the person and safely brought them out of the woods.
Drones have been recognised as integral parts of many search and rescue missions in the past as well. To illustrate, drone surveillance has supported migration journeys of many individuals on their way to Europe. The ICARUS Project is one of the initiatives that use drones for this purpose.
9. A solution for cleaning up plastic in rivers and oceans – drones
Yes, drones have proven to be a valuable asset in reducing plastic pollution in waters. More precisely, researchers used DJI Phantom 4 to take photos and collect data from the large plastic-full rivers like the Mekong River. This was used to identify the critical spots in the river, as well as, locate the areas with plenty of plastic in them.
Afterward, the researchers and other experts work on solutions and models for cleaning the trash up and preventing it from entering the oceans and polluting even bigger surfaces.
10. Drones extinguished fires on ships
The Fire and Rescue Department in Jacksonville used a thermal camera drone to detect and put out a strong fire on a ship. It was carrying cars, so there were several explosions and injured crew members.
With the help of a DJI drone with a thermal camera, the firefighters could identify the points where the fire was raging the most and work on extinguishing them until the ship was entirely free of the flames.
11. Cyber tourism or drone tourism is alive and kicking
Due to the massive spread of the coronavirus, many countries went under lockdown and closed their borders. In return, this resulted in losses in several industries like tourism, air flights, and similar.
So, drone stories that warmed our hearts this year include the rise of cyber tourism or drone tourism. Thanks to aerial photography and videography, you can “travel to” any destination you want. You can have your pick from cities like Budapest and San Francisco to countries like Belarus and more.
Furthermore, Reuben Pillay from Mauritius made a 360-degree interactive map of his island of Mauritius. He did it with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone.
Wrapping Up the Drone Stories That Will Warm Your Heart Today!
Phew, it’s been quite a year! However, with the help of technology and drones, we witness the potential of doing good with them. At The Drones World, we applaud the efforts of both individuals and organizations that are harnessing the power of drones for doing good.
These were the drone stories that will warm your heart… Which one did you like best?