CityPress - - Business -

Drones were pre­vi­ously only used as toys by nerds – or as mil­i­tary weapons.

But in re­cent years, in­ter­est in the com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tions that drones could be used for has ex­ploded. The pos­si­ble ap­pli­ca­tions are al­most end­less.

While he­li­copters or fixed-wing air­craft can per­form the same func­tions, drones are more mo­bile and cheaper to use, thanks to their smaller size.

The Hluh­luwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZu­luNatal has recorded a 92% de­crease in poach­ing af­ter a year-long trial pro­ject by Shaya Tech­nolo­gies, which built lo­cally man­u­fac­tured drones in their fac­tory in Kyalami, Johannesburg.

Ear­lier this year, the City of Cape Town tested drones fit­ted with in­frared cam­eras dur­ing drug raids by po­lice. The drones could see whether sus­pects were armed or were hid­ing drugs.

Both Ama­zon, the US online re­tailer, and in­ter­na­tional lo­gis­ti­cal gi­ant DHL, have plans to use drones for de­liv­er­ies. Ama­zon’s drones will be able to make de­liv­er­ies by us­ing GPS data from clients’ cell­phones.

In In­done­sia, drones are used to bring tax dodgers to book.

On the smaller In­done­sian is­lands that have dense plan­ta­tions, drones are used to mea­sure the ac­tual size of plan­ta­tions so own­ers can­not lie about their in­come.

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