In recent years, drones have become cheap. On top of that, lightweight video cameras became a lot more available, and the stabilization technology you get with these is state of the art. Combining these three created a new range of uses, and security is one of the areas where drones have a lot of potentials. So, today we will look at the advantages of using drones for surveillance.
We all know that drones are used for delivering parcels and taking incredible shots from the sky. However, we rarely hear about drones replacing security guards. And that is something that might not be as unlikely as you may think.
Of course, the niche is small, and you need to know a bit more than just how to safely operate a drone in urban areas to put this to use. But since you’re here, it’s obvious that you’re interested in the topic. So, feel free to dive in and learn why you should consider investing in drones for surveillance purposes.
Highly efficient communication
If you’re in the security business, you know that a timely and effective response is key to handling a situation. Everyone needs to understand the relevant details, and your team needs to communicate. Here, drones have an unfair advantage over humans.
You can upload the possible events and assigned actions to the drone software, and it can deploy them on its own. For instance, let us talk about a classic case of an intrusion.
Your video management system can inform the drone about the event and notify it about its’ exact location via GPS coordinates. The drone then dispatches and flies to the location using pre-defined routes or an onboard navigation system. As soon it arrives, it can lock the camera on the intruder and wait for further instructions.
For scenarios where fast response is crucial, drones do not have a match. They require no humans in the loop, and there is almost no potential for errors.
Drones can do some tasks on their own, without a human in the loop.
Drones are fast.
When you are preparing to move your home, you do not think about the security of your belongings. You want to find a company that will help you relocate to your new property with ease and nothing more. However, things get stolen on parking lots of moving companies. And if security guards are just a couple of minutes late, your big screen TV might be long gone.
Although drones do not run, they are fast. So, not only do they have the head start of automatic dispatch, but they also can travel at speeds of 40 mph. On top of that, land-based objects do not constrain them. Because of this, they are ideal security guards.
Some bigger moving companies are already using drones for securing their facilities, and that is why we used their example here. According to them, intruders quickly get scared by drones. So, in many cases, they leave the lot before the security even gets to the location.
We do not have to tell you how much camera technology improved over the last decade. And we are not talking just about the weight and size here. Image quality and resolution have gone through the roof. And along with video, the drone can collect plenty of metadata about a scene.
Zoom is another useful feature that allows you to perform surveillance at a distance. All of this means that you can easily track multiple objects with just one UAV.
It’s worth mentioning that most security issues happen at nighttime. Although you can learn all the things about flying a drone at night, it is still a much better idea to invest in a thermal camera for your drone. They are not that expensive anymore, and you will get the ability to see in difficult weather conditions, through smoke, or even vegetation. Improved vision is clearly another of the advantages of using drones for surveillance.
Thanks to the quality of the camera, drones can see better than humans.
No risk of workers’ comp
Security personnel always have a long list of procedures and rules they must follow in various situations. These exist for a reason, and they cannot be overlooked. Most importantly, they are here for the safety of:
- Intruder himself
However, for the most part, drones do not have to obey these. If the person they are chasing enters a dangerous location or makes a risky jump, UAVs can follow it without a problem. And if you want to stay stealthy, you can pursue them without ever getting noticed. This makes lots of surveillance tasks a lot easier and safer for humans.
They are artificially intelligent.
Intelligent video and deep learning are techniques that are used in the security market for some time now. And as we know from the article about the future of cargo drones, UAVs benefit from this same technology.
Besides detecting intrusions from far away and in poor weather conditions, smart drones can do much more. The camera following feature will keep the target centered in the field of view, and you do not have to do anything. As the intruder maneuvers, the drone will do the same.
And the best thing is that it can do this while receiving commands and sending video back to VMS. So, even though these machines are by no means more intelligent than a security guard, they can do more tasks simultaneously. And that is what makes them a worthwhile investment.
Modern UAVs are smart, and that is one of the biggest advantages of using drones for surveillance.
There are some disadvantages.
Although there are plenty of advantages, we do not want you to go out and purchase a division of drones if that is not what you really need. We want to play straight, so we will make a note of a couple of disadvantages as well.
For starters, there’s short battery life. Typically, drones can operate up to 30 minutes before they need to be recharged. And that process always takes longer than the duration of the flight. It is worth mentioning that higher-end drones can extend their operation time to a few hours, but that also translates to the charging times.
Another downside we want to talk about is that drones operate in airspace. This means that their operation is under the jurisdiction of the FAA. So, there are many regulations you need to respect and follow.
Of course, we are not saying that these outweigh all the advantages of using drones for surveillance. However, make sure to look at the Federal Aviation Regulations before you buy a drone for this purpose.