You’re probably going to see more printed words talking about drones in the near future than perhaps any other subject other than Justin Bieber. And while there may be irony in Bieber being affected by drones, the actual subject of drones has a wider impact than Bieber’s influence on Generation Y. While I’ve already written several articles on drones just in the short span of two months, the impact on the economy might be just as great down the road. Even if we don’t know what the impact will be for the more malevolent drones used privately, very public drones are being designed that may bring manufacturing jobs back into prominence.
Google’s Foray into Making Drones
You shouldn’t be surprised to see Google’s name wherever the word “drone” is. They have their toe dipped into everything now, though they recently acquired Titan Aerospace as a top producer of drones. It seems to give a notion that Google wants to make them and no doubt use them to help with their mapping services. Despite robotics making inroads with many manufacturing plants now, designing and making drones is still going to involve a balance of talented people that will open new doors for many jobseekers.
Considering Google seems to be on the right side of ethics (so far) with all their technology, having a manufacturing unit of drones at Google may help bring a new renaissance to Silicon Valley. Most of those jobs, though, would have to move to New Mexico where Titan Aerospace is headquartered.
Amazon.com’s Drone Plan
Nobody yet knows at the time of this writing whether Amazon will really go forth on using drones to deliver packages. They’ve already created enough buzz where it seems like it’s already here. Yes, we’ve mentally prepared for such a thing, though perhaps not in realizing the job potential in drone design and manufacturing. With the Northwest economy still on the mend, having drone manufacturing plants near Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle could become the new equivalent to the car industry.
Then there’s also the possibility of hiring drone retrievers. These people would check up on the success of the drones and retrieve one if it happens to be shot out of the sky by someone mistaking it for an alien invasion delivering gifts.
Drones Used by Energy Companies
News reports say that energy companies are starting to look into the possibility of using drones to scout oil-rich plots of land that are inaccessible by foot. While this might be controversial for those who adhere to using alternative fuels, those on the big business side of things may find considerable employment helping big oil companies create drones. Perhaps the only thing that would bring some creativity to these jobs is finding a way to create a drone with its own drone detection technology so there aren’t massive collisions in plain sight.
The Manufacture of Small Drones for Use on Cars
Outside of the private drones some people already use in limited airspace to capture the new “dronies” in photography, drones aren’t yet allowed to fly long distances. All of the chilling possibilities also mean some amazing usefulness. Recently, Renault tested a new car that allows a small drone on the vehicle to launch and scan what might be happening up the road to give you traffic alerts. It’s a new extension of GPS that enables those driving in unfamiliar territory to be able to avoid massive traffic jams farther up a highway.
You can see those palm-sized drones being manufactured by the dozens every single day. This may conjure a vision of robots manufacturing them in industrial plants rather than people. We’ll have to wait and see on that, though engineers and software designers will be in more demand than ever to help design and improve drones as time goes on. At the same time, only time will tell whether the FAA will place intense scrutiny on how they’ll be used.
This could lead to new careers of federal drone investigators who end up mired in frequent red tape determining who’s in the right and in the wrong.