Drones in industrial processes

Drones, like the Internet and many other inventions, are a technology that began to develop within the military industry. The drone concept is simple and refers to an unmanned vehicle, that is, an artifact capable of moving from one place to another without the need for a human pilot or driver inside.


The first drones were aerial and date from the 70’s, but mainly in prototype versions, capable of flying for a couple of hours and carrying light loads. The first drones used in war known to the public were during the 80’s in the Iran-Iraq war. Years passed and today drones for military use remain state-of-the-art technology, unfortunately being used regularly.

Although drones began as an aerial vehicle, soon the technology of controlling a vehicle from a distance produced comparative advantages in other areas. By way of example, an urban search robot, for catastrophes, landslides or similar emergencies, controlled by a person or pilot, could today be considered a type of terrestrial drone.

The opening of drone technology to the public

Like many technologies controlled by invention patents, it was not until the turn of the millennium that various companies began to work and produce domestic drones, seeking their applications in everyday life.

The first times that the word Drone began to spread in people’s common conversations was when various technology companies began mass manufacturing. The most common use was photography and video filming. It was not long ago that they were seen at sporting events, outdoors, concerts, and public activities in general with the service of aerial photography and filming. The ability to go up, down, forward and backward of a drone make it perfect for this job. Today and just before the Christmas holidays, we see commerce and retail fully supplied with this technology as a children’s toy. Even today there are already professional category tournaments to drive Drones in air racing mode in defined spaces.

Application to different industrial processes.

Without going further afield, today the unmanned vehicle industry has evolved remarkably, and like all technology, as time progresses its production costs decrease, licenses open, developers are born and suppliers appear, which creates a market accessible to all. Given this growth, the first thing to understand is that drone technology, as already mentioned, is not only aerial, but also terrestrial, maritime and space. To the latter, it must be added that although the concept was born as a physically unmanned vehicle but controlled remotely, today there is a large number of Drones capable of receiving previous commands and then operating independently, without the need for a person. controller at all times.

Some examples of Drones that currently exist in the Chilean market, or in current development projects with functional prototypes, we can find:

  • Aerial drones for geographical delimitations. Capable of delimiting through GPS the limits of agricultural, urban properties, national parks, and any other requirement related to the same field.
  • Maritime drones, small vehicles capable of navigating and submerging, which can fulfill the function of a mobile buoy; measure levels of pollution and other agents in the oceans; function as an underwater vision or search vehicle; or even for the underwater repair of the hull of a boat.
  • Ground drones. The most basic range from domestic vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers for large green areas, and there are even prototypes for plowing and sowing in agricultural land.

In general, it is possible to develop drone technology in our country, since its components are on the market and the knowledge that sustains them is public and accessible on the Internet. Of course, the gap is that after the working prototype or finished product comes the ability to produce at scale. Multiple projects are currently being developed and we expect several more to be born soon. The important thing is that each one think about their own industry and see how to take advantage of this technology to automate a process or standardize a service that makes profitable and improves the productivity of their own companies.