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Espresso of Innovation: Droning On

by Martin Talks, president digital, Draftfcb UK
Hello and welcome to this week’s Espresso of Innovation; the hottest news and strongest stories from the world of creativity and technology filtered into a quick shot of inspiration. This week we’re going all ‘Black Ops’.

Drones have got a bad name. They are associated with the brutality of modern warfare where their use in places such as Afghanistan has raised all sorts of ethical questions. But the ironic truth is that warfare spawns all sorts of technologies that have been of great good to mankind, including medicines, prosthetics and now drones, or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) as they are less pejoratively known.

UAVs have a vast number of peaceful uses already:They are helping in theanti-poaching initiatives in Africa where the vast areas are next to impossible to monitor on the ground.In Germany, UAVs are used in surveillance toprevent graffiti spraying on their trains. They are seen as great value considering every year, the Deutsche Bahn spends an estimated $10,000,000 to clean graffiti off of railway cars.Other worthy uses includeearly flash flood warnings,inspecting oil and gas pipe lines andmonitoring crops.
But UAVs can also be used for the fun stuff:delivering pizza,beer to concert goers and evenwedding proposals. The latest company to try out drones is YO! Sushi in London that is using an iTray – a four-propellerflying waiter – to deliver its newest menu item, burgers.

As usual, regulation is struggling to keep up with the technology. In the US, the FAA is debating offering guidelines for drone operators in the private sector by 2015, andEuropean regulators are due to issue a roadmap for the integration of UAVs into national aviation policy imminently. In the meantime sites continue to offer inspiration, guidance and solutions to the fast-growing industry.

As you can see, the opportunities for the use of UAVs are many and indeed are probably necessary for brands. UAVs could be used for such services as the delivery of urgent packages, recording of events and the collection of data. As we become more and more urbanized and the price of fuels rockets, UAVs will provide fast, efficient and cost effective solutions. OneiPad-controlled copter can already be bought ready-made for a couple of hundred pounds, and has sold 300,000 units worldwide. Every brand will soon need a drone strategy.