Clubbing the two technologies, of drone and AR (Augumented Reality), as AR drones offers exciting opportunities for various sectors like engineering, disaster response, law enforcement, and entertainment.
AR has proven its mettle by enabling sophisticated interactions with our real-world environment. The popularity for drone technology, on the other hand, has skyrocketed over the last few years. However, the concept of AR drones seems to be changing the face of both the technologies.
Applications of AR drones in various sectors
Drones were initially used for surveillance and for providing visual data. The videos recorded, however, were raw and needed processing to map data onto it. Scientists employed AR to overlay virtual data in real-time. With AR drones, the captured video is automatically processed by AR software to scoop out the relevant information. The final footage received is ready for landscaping and surveillance.
In disaster response
Disaster mitigation, up until now, involved the implementation of drone technology alone. Adding AR software to drones enhances the imaging and video capturing capabilities of a drone. Rapid Imaging Software equipped a drone with their Smart 3D camera to disclose the information that otherwise goes missing during drone surveillance. For instance, flooded street views showing the depth of water, inflicted damage, and potential hazards can all be captured by the AR video cameras mounted on drones for the disaster management bodies to gain an insight into the affected areas and to deploy appropriate measures.
Insitu’s ScanEagle drone allows firefighters to not only capture a 24/7 view of the fire but also helps them with information on trapped people and temperature variations with the help of special thermal cameras and AR.
In law enforcement
Bringing AR and drones together has helped police agencies tremendously with law enforcement. Applying the drone footage to AR software can help the law enforcement committees by:
- Assisting officers during patrolling with the aerial views of local streets
- Aiding search and rescue missions where drones can map out an area aerially, while the AR software in ground stations can help detect the lost or injured people
- Tracking down fugitives. Used in unknown or new locations or during the nighttime, AR and drones help police in identifying the location of suspects, quickly and more accurately
Engineers are already using AR drones to make their work easier. Inspecting bridges and tall skyscrapers, monitoring construction sites for reducing errors and tracking project speed, surveying and analyzing the landscape and terrain resolution of an area, AR drones offer high-resolution graphical data to engineers.
The popular gaming company Air Hogs enhanced drone gaming for its users by introducing the Air Hogs Mission Drone. The game challenges players with rescue missions that involve drones in an interactive AR city under siege.
Companies and researchers must come together to dig out greater scope for both the technologies, expanding the power of this combination far beyond the existing.