The world is hollow and my drone has touched the sky…

As part of the IoT craze the new reality of ROV’s intrigues me. ROV’s aren’t part of the Internet of things, but they extend the edges of where your world is.

ROV stands for Remotely Operated Vehicle.

You can start with the Parrott AR Drone for aerial video as a great starting point. Frankly while you can record the video the controls on the smart device screen are far to sensitive and if your fingers slide off there is no automated hover function. We crashed our first one so hard it cracked the mother board. As much to fix that as it was to get a new one so into the trash it went.

There are also ROV’s that take video underwater. A good underwater and a good aerial drone today run about 1000 dollars. The difference between the two is that the underwater ROV’s is normally tethered. It is really hard to send any signal reliably through the water so you need the tether.

Eventually as the specialized drones are available they will include some of the new laser measuring solutions. Combining an aerial video drone with the Spike product would be a nice touch. You can take aerial photos that include measurements.

The interesting thing about aerial drones today is the reality of airspace. As the FAA begins to regulate drones they will lock out many more areas from drone flying (which is as it should be).

Also as you move away from the entry drones you will find the controls get better and better. Having a drone with the hover command makes your imaging much better. Separate controls and Wi-FI connections (for video/stills) also makes a difference.

I suspect realtors will hop on the aerial drone technology fairly quickly. You can create a virtual tour of the house and with the drone a virtual tour of the neighborhood. The United States Geological Survey organization would probably love the laser measurement video drones.

The police use drones heavily today – disarming that backpack someone left on a square that isn’t a backpack but a bomb. Fire department use drones to probe areas of buildings that are too dangerous for humans to enter. The military uses drones for a number of activities as well. While I have spent the majority of my blog talking about aerial and underwater drones there is a whole world of land drones as well.

Connectivity drives what we can see and do. With the various drones available you can extend your see and do into areas that you probably wouldn’t want to go, but are curious what is actually there. Of course you shouldn’t fly your drone over your neighbors houses that isn’t very nice. An ROV in the pool to capture bottoms up video of people jumping in is ok.

In the end this ROV technology also extends to the concepts of personal presence devices. The ability to in the end be two places at once.

For the world is hollow and my drone has touched the sky.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.