The FAA recently proposed some new rules for drones, which offers people good news and bad, depending on who those people are. The rules now limit drones to only 55 pounds. They can be flown no higher than 500 feet (that’s about 50 stories) and must be flown no faster than 100 miles per hour (which is still quite fast). Oh, and the drones can never be flown outside the line of vision of the operator.
While companies like Amazon are bummed because these new rules kill their plans for delivering packages across the country, those who are entrepreneurially inclined are thrilled to discover that the FAA regulations will create new business opportunities. If you’re a drone enthusiast looking for a way to make money with your hobby, here are 5 ideas to get you started.
With the popularity of drones really taking off, it’s only a matter of time before people begin demanding even better drones. Soon we’ll expect drones that can fly for longer periods of time without recharging. We’ll also want drones that are as close to indestructible as possible (no one is going to hand over $1,000 or more for a machine that, the first time it crashes from a height of 80 feet, breaks into infinite pieces), drones that can talk to other drones and are as light as a feather yet able to carry as much as possible.
If you’re a mechanical engineer with a passion for drone technology, get to work on improving the current technology.
For years, advertisers have been looking for new places to stick their messages. We now see ads on buses, taxi cabs, floors of our local supermarkets, our smartphones and computers. But what’s next? Drones.
Like the Good Year Blimp, drones will be the next “vehicle” to fly into sports stadiums, crowded parks and even street fairs advertising products, contests, and special promotions. Wherever big groups of people gather, we can expect to see more drones hover just at eye level advertising important communications from big and small brands.
And, these drones may also be used for security and surveillance as well, another great revenue stream for drone operators.
Real Estate Photography
Real estate agents are always looking for ways to set their properties apart from others on the market. Video was an effective technological leap that helped agents market their inventory, but now drones are set to be the next big thing in real estate photography.
Whether it’s capturing a bird’s eye view of a great room, leveraging the height of a home’s incredibly tall ceilings, or taking video of a mansion’s 20 acres, complete with swimming pool, tennis court and horse stables, drones will be able to market a property like no technology has done before.
Drones are already being used to survey land and inspect pipelines, but there is a need for a more effective and affordable way to inspect internally. Drones will be used to patrol factory floors, keeping an eye on machinery, manufacturing processes and employee activities. While stationary security cameras are limited, drones can easily make sure specific areas of buildings and warehouses are secure.
Getting a product from A to B can be the difference between profits and losses. In manufacturing, drones will be used to get parts from one area of a building to the production line. Drones may even be used in food delivery. In restaurants, being able to get food from the kitchen to the table without the need of human wait staff translates into higher profit margins and a competitive advantage. Whatever the product might be, paperwork, packages or samples, if you can cut out the human middleman and use delivery drones instead, you can cut down on production costs.
This is a very exciting time for drone operators or those who have always wanted to get in on the drone action. As drones become commonplace, there will be an even greater need for operators, and that translates into more business opportunities.