Drones: What Can They Be Used For?

Drones: What Can They Be Used For?

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Just a couple of decades ago, drone technology was something that could only be found in the hands of our government. Today, that story no longer holds true. Drone sales have continued to go up, year after year, where consumers have various reasons they feel they need one. 

Our kids can even get their hands on one down the toy aisle. People have found so many innovative and practical uses for drones, which has helped make our lives easier. They’ve also been able to save countless human lives. Drones: what can they be used for?

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Drones: What Can They Be Used For?

Drones: What Can They Be Used For?

But not all people think that drones are a good thing, and they have some good reasons to feel that way. Drones can take away our privacy as U.S citizens, but they’ve also been responsible for taking innocent lives. Here’s a number of different ways that drones are used and I can guarantee that a few of them will surprise you. 


Drones have been used by the CIA, and also our military and ground forces for more than a decade now, especially in regions of the Middle East. They have helped dramatically reduce the risk of putting our American troops in danger and also as a useful strategy in collecting surveillance, intelligence, and performing airstrikes.

Detecting bombs is another way that drones have been able to save the lives of our military men and women. 

Drones have been effective in targeting and taking out terrorists and their leaders. Yet they’ve also been responsible for killing a large number of civilians, something that is against international law. Because of this, many people are against the use of drones in the military, because some people feel the military leaders are treating war more like a video game and not really considering human life.   

Fighting Crime

Fighting crime is another way that drones are often used. They are capable of gathering evidence to warn law enforcement of a threat before it happens. Drones can be useful at crime scenes, providing more details than what we can see on the ground.

Many people don’t appreciate the thought that our privacy as U.S citizens could be breached, but drones can prevent crime and save lives. 

I want to share what happened to Mark and me one night around 10:00 P.M. We were watching the nightly news and I saw a huge white light flashing in our backyard. Of course, the dogs then went crazy. We have shutters (which were closed), but the white light was very bright even then. The dogs started barking louder and I thought maybe someone was in our backyard. We could see the light shining over both backyards on either side of us.

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Then, we could see the lights flying overhead when we stepped outside. Okay, this was about 6 years ago and drones were not that well known, at least where I live for civilian use. We then went out front and there were several police cars with lights flashing. Then we saw a few policemen on foot with flashlights and weapons.

Of course, we went back inside and learned later that two people had ditched a stolen car on the freeway and headed into our subdivision. This is when I learned about drones flying around neighborhoods via policeman. It gave them “eyes” to find criminals. We saw firsthand how well they worked.

Now, it seems every neighbor has one and even the kids are using them in the street. I must confess, I was a bit creeped out when I was working in my backyard and I could see something flying towards my house. I asked my granddaughter if she could see it, my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be.

She said I think it’s a drone. Sure enough, the closer it got we could see that it was an orange drone. The weird thing is if you are working in your garden and you see this object in the sky above you, you may wonder, “what are those drones flying around my house for?” In a way, I felt like I no longer had my privacy in my own backyard. I must be honest, I didn’t like it.

Illegal Activities

As I’ve already mentioned, drones aren’t always in the right hands. Drones can also be used for illegal purposes as well. More highly advanced drones can carry a substantial amount of weight, and fly through the air at speeds of up to 40 mph.

Because of their capability and how accessible they are, drug smuggling across the border while using drones has been an ongoing concern over the past several years.    

Weather Forecasting

Drones can also be helpful with weather predicting and teaching us more about climate change than ever before. Most of our weather data that is collected takes place in a stationary building. Yet with drones, they can travel and follow the weather as it develops to provide us with more accuracy.  

News Coverage

Drones are also very reliable when it comes to news coverage. They can take aerial shots and video with live footage of areas that are unsafe or impossible for people to reach. Drones have been used to get footage of California fires, flooded areas, and witnessing a Skyview of the aftermath of tornadoes and hurricanes.   


Farmers and agricultural workers are always looking for ways of improving their efficiency, while also expanding their crop’s yield. While the thought of using a drone for farming sounds more like something from Star Wars, more and more farmers are using drones to help with their repetitive and time-consuming tasks. 

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Farmers can use drones to help cultivate their crops by dispersing seeds, fertilizing, and spraying pesticides. Drones are also capable of pollinating flowers and produce, which is very useful at a time when the honeybee population is in rapid decline. Companies are also working on a solution of how to use drones for picking produce during harvest.     


It’s also not uncommon to see drones hovering over construction sites during the planning and as they survey the progress of the construction. They have advanced camera technology that is used not only to monitor the buildings, but the topography and soil type throughout the building process. 


There have been huge strides made in archaeology with the help of drones over the past couple of decades. They’ve been able to survey sites and collect useful data much quicker than ever before. 

Transporting Medicine and Aid 

Natural disasters and emergency situations can create a huge need for medicine and aid in a hurry. Drones are capable of transporting medical supplies and medicine to areas that may be considered high-risk for responders to reach. 

They can also be used to search for survivors at a greater vantage point than what the ground offers. Search and rescue operations have also used drones in the past to direct rescue workers on the ground to where the victim is located.  

Pizza Delivery

You’ve probably never had your pizza delivered to you at your door by a flying man-less craft, but that day may arrive here sooner than you think. Several restaurants and delivery services have been working to develop a system to deliver with drones for a quicker and cheaper delivery. Surprisingly, they can carry a reasonable weight of food. 

Companies like Domino’s, McDonald’s, Uber, among many others, have already been testing the market with this for a number of years now in various places around the world. Even Amazon is in the process of using drones to speed up their delivery services.  

Amazing Selfies

Hoping to impress your friends with how you took that impossible selfie without having a selfie stick present? This is one of the more fun purposes of having a drone. That, and using it to take incredible pictures while you’re on vacation. Don’t forget to bring it when you are taking pictures of the Grand Canyon!  

Final Word

When people hear about the wonderful uses of drones, there’s usually a bunch of mixed feelings in a group. Drones have been used to save lives, but also for taking life as well. They can transport decent sized loads, and even farmers have found uses for them. As drones continue to become more accessible to us, it will be interesting to see what else they are capable of.  What do you think of drones: what can they be used for? May God Bless this world, Linda.

Copyright Images: Drone Deposit photos_206783602_s-2019 

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  1. Recon and intelligence gathering is the main purpose for ours.
    In Syria they’ve weaponized them into one shot suicide bombs.
    Folks here have attached remotely fired guns to them.
    I’m extremely distrustful of any incoming drones

    1. Hi Matt, me too. This is why I wrote this article today. I am still wondering why someone was flying one over the backyards on my street. I still don’t know who had the drone. Our mail lady told us her back hurts from delivering ammo to someone in our neighborhood because the boxes are so heavy. So you can see why I am a bit concerned. Life is crazy right now. And it’s going to get worse sooner than later. Linda

      1. Hi all! I’m a commercial drone operator ( ie run a small side biz taking drone photography in many of the areas you mentioned! ) and per the drone you saw flying near your house, if you live in a tight knit subdivision where houses are near to each other it may have been someone working for a realtor or a property assessment/managrment company gathering imagery for them. Not saying it couldnt have been a nefarious actor but just to say there are many like myself who earn a living or supplemental income providing drone services. In the US..UK..Europe and most all western societies the govts offer certifications such as the FAAs part 107 for those who wish to join the entrepreneur ranks..and it also requires us to go through a full govt background check and security threat assessment to make sure we arent any of the “bad guys”. I have to admit that while the world can be a sketchy place and today that is certainly turned up a few notches..I would still submit that the vast majority of drone operators are doing so with merit and utmost respect for our fellow citizens privacy and concerns! Bear in mind that any responsible and respectable drone op will NOT loiter his/her drone over a non participating property and only records areas they are commissioned to..after all we wouldnt want someone snooping around our houses either! Your article is very informative for the public and is very thoughtful, thank you for that! If you ever see another flying around that you are unsure of and are concerned, try calling local authorities because in my personal dealings if I’m unable to visit with neighbors to let them know what I’m doing (again something an experienced drone svc provider should do as well as wear identifying hi-vis clothing) I will check in with the police so if someone does call they can reassure the caller that the drone is in the area conducting services. Thanks again for the good article and hope I was able provide a couple nuggets of insight! Cheers!

        1. Hi Daniel, oh I’m so glad you made this wonderful comment! This will help all of us understand why a drone may be flying around our neighborhood! I love learning fro someone who lives it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Linda

      2. Totally scary and an invasion of privacy! There are already enough tech ways to invade our personal space and privacy without these.

        1. Hi Diana, I was actually startled when I saw it. At first, I thought it was plane flying (my eyes are not as good as they used to be) overhead. Then, the drone thing kind of shocked me. But, I sold real estate and owned my own mortgage company for 15 years, so the comment from Daniel makes sense to me. Our neighborhood right now is hot in sales. Of course, I realize many areas are hot because the interest rates are so low. But I feel better having had Daniel explain more details about his expertise. I do agree that our privacy is being invaded every day. It is scary, Linda

  2. I’m wondering if these are much different than guns in the hands of criminals. I don’t have a problem with the military or peace officers having them. But, maybe if citizens get them, they need background checks? I don’t know. Criminals will always find a way to get their hands on them. It’s scary times we live in these days.

    1. Hi Deborah, when I purchased mine they did a background check. It was easy because I had already gotten my concealed weapon permit. The problem is when someone who originally purchased a weapon sells it. I’m sure there are laws concerning selling guns at garage sales or online. But do people follow those rules if they even know about them or if they want to keep it “quiet” as in not being registered. I’m not an authority on the selling of weapons that’s for sure. I’m sure different states may have different rules. If someone wants one they will get one. Or build one. Linda

      1. Or break into a house and steal one. We were broken into several years ago. The didn’t take any guns. But they did take my camera with the case and all. Plus a lot of change, my hubby’s senior ring and a cats eye rung that his dad got when he was in Korea. And every DVD we had. Even the ones we recorded of our grandchildren. Those DVDs and the rings were what made me the most upset. The camera and case are what got them caught. And the picture they took. It stored the pictures on 3.5 floppy disks. Needless to say, the investigator got it. Oh, when the sheriffs deputy got here, I asked him about taking finger prints. He told me that, that only happened In the movies. Yep, he lied. I did tell the investigator that. She was mad! Small town and county.

        1. Hi Deborah, you know this is another story about being our own advocate. They should have taken fingerprints I would think. It’s sad about the “special items” that are not replaceable. I sure hope you got most of them back. Glad you were okay, stay safe, Linda

  3. I can see the benefits and the drawbacks of drones. I follow a vlog and the vlogger uses a drone for some pretty spectacular aerial footage. I have not had any personal interaction with the use of drones, YET!

    This post has 6 ads for drones (same company) and I know that they are available at a few shops where I live. I suppose it depends on the quality of the drone whether you have to have a background check or not. I have seen them advertised during the holidays as “toys” so I am not sure the quality is sufficient to use as a weapon or even real surveillance. The “toy” drones seem more like a radio controlled toy much like a radio controlled car/truck or airplane.

    I don’t like the idea of someone being able to spy on me when I am gardening or doing other things in the privacy of our own homes but we as individuals don’t seem to have much control over the technology or perhaps we allow the technology, at least in the beginning, because we don’t know all of the impacts that technology might have on us. I suppose we could go back a number of decades to when listening devices were just coming on the market for individuals – sounded like fun to be able to “spy” on a sibling in our home but the capabilities were immense and long reaching. So are the capabilities of drones and things most of us don’t know anything about yet! Even the computers we use can be used for good or for evil – depends on the user!

    1. Hi Leanne, I was not very happy about the drone flying over my back yard. It wasn’t until later, I thought, what are they watching, or looking at, who has the drone. You and I remember the “two or three phone party lines”. No privacy back then, but looking back that was kind of creepy. We never really knew if one of the party lines was listening in on our conversations. Boy, am I showing my age now! LOL! Technology, are we ready for even more to come? Hmmm, Linda

  4. I’ve heard, though I don’t know this first hand, that you can blind a drone’s camera with a laser pointer. A friend of mine shot one down with an air rifle when she caught it spying on her sunbathing teenage daughter.

    One of my neighbors has a commercial model that he uses in his home inspection business. Saves him from having to climb ladders to check out roofs.

    1. Hi Ray, wow, now that’s a story to remember! I sure would not like anyone using a drone to watch my teenage daughter sunbathing!! I can see how an inspector could make good use of a drone. No ladders, it’s a lot safer! Linda

    2. while I agree that the drone shouldn’t have been spying on your daughter. There are several things to consider it may have just been doing a landscape or other picture, adjusting controls. And depending on size of the drone hitting the lithium batteries can cause a fire that will burn for a very long time…you may shot it down and burned your house down with it (HAZMAT incident also) . Lastly its FEDERAL CRIME to shoot down or point a laser at a drone, they are considered aircraft.

      1. Linda, you are undoubtedly right. Here’s the rest of the story.

        The drone belonged to a neighborhood boy (a teenager) who was considerate enough to write his name on it. His parents were outraged he was using it to spy on neighborhood girls. Getting grounded was the least of his problems as he was forced into counseling for his peeping Tom problem. Personally, I think the mom who shot the drone down and notified his parents acted with admirable restraint. If the girl’s dad had seen the photos the boy had taken of the girl (and others) he might have lost it completely with the little creep, but he is a long distance trucker who was out of town when it happened. The boy was lucky the police didn’t get involved as the photographic evidence could have sent him to juvie.

        I also think if it came right down to it your right to privacy trumps someone’s right to spy on you using a drone and if you don’t blind it, or shoot it down, how do you stop it from spying?. Virtually all such drone usage is done by private individuals who I doubt will go crying to the FAA or the cops. The fire hazard warning is definitely worth considering, however.

        1. Hi Ray, it really is sad that we have to worry about kids using a drone unsupervised. The people that use drones for jobs is a totally different situation. Unfortunately, too many kids are left unsupervised day after day. When I watch the “protestors” get out of hand, I think to myself “where are their parents”???? My kids or grandkids know better than to get involved in an out of control protesting riots. But that’s another story for another day. I can see why his parents were outraged that their son was using their drone to spy on girls in the neighborhood. Wow, I hope the kid learns something good out of getting in trouble. Linda

  5. We had the HOA “spy” on us with a drone. I just couldn’t get past that. It was the cherry on top for me in deciding to move out of what I now refer to as “Nazi Ridge”.

  6. i fly drones as a hobby and to also help people. I personally have no interest in what your doing in your backyard but in most areas its almost impossible not to fly over or hover over one. It doesn’t mean that your being spied on anymore than you are by Google satellite / Streetview. Drones are also used for Search and Rescue by hobbyists like myself and it does take some practice to find people, you could be helping save someone else’s life in the future.
    Lastly it is a Federal Crime to shoot down a drone and or point a laser at it they are considered aircraft and samething for the pilot while they are flying the drone.
    Call Law Enforcement (Police, Sheriff, Constable) if you think your being spied or the drone is operating illegally.
    Drones are like, cars, boats, ect they are as good as their operators.

    1. Hi Chris, wow, you are so right about “Drones are like cars, boats, etc they are as good as their operators” Best comment today! Great comment in all honesty because they will save lives as you said. Thank goodness we have people like you who can operate them and save many lives. Linda

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