WSJ: From Farms to Films, Drones Find Commercial Uses.
Commercial use is closer than we think, especially since the courts shot down drone restrictions last week.
WSJ: Some drone uses are more glamorous. The film industry has used them to film chase scenes and aerial shots in James Bond and Harry Potter movies, among others. Drones are “extremely common on sets overseas,” said Motion Picture Association of America spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield, who said they are safer and cheaper than manned helicopters and enable more innovative shots.
U.S. experts predict major potential for drones in agriculture. In Japan, Yamaha Corp.7951.TO -0.36% has been selling drones to farmers for 20 years. It estimates about 2,400 of its unmanned helicopters are spraying pesticides and fertilizers on 40% of the rice fields in Japan. Another 100 drones are helping to farm wheat, soybeans and pine trees in South Korea and remove weeds in Australia, the company said.
The U.S. is “the world leader in producing drones,” but “the reality is the rest of the world has moved further ahead of us in terms of commercial applications,” said drone researcher Missy Cummings, director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University.
The biggest buzz over commercial drones in the U.S. has come from Amazon.comInc. AMZN -3.18% ‘s proposal to use them for package delivery. But that idea will take years to realize.
Unlike Amazon’s proposal, the uses for drones are generally far from consumers, on worksites or in relatively remote areas.