We might think of drones as toys, and maybe as a way to take great videos or entertain the kids. But today’s drones are being used in a multitude of industries for more applications than most people can imagine. Have a look not just at what might happen in the future, but how drones are being used right now.

JOIN ME NEXT WEEK as we look at how drones might be useful in your industry, and even if they’re not we will talk about applying a futurist mindset to asking “what if” about new technology that has the potential to not just improve but also change your work dramatically.


When we think of drones, most of us think of something that’s just entertaining and fun. Put a camera onto it and we can take wonderful sweeping, panoramic pictures of our holiday or our suburbs, or maybe as a lot of people are using it now as a replacement for fireworks on a special occasion, as hundreds of drones get into the air and put up wonderful light formations at night. There are a lot more uses for drones than just entertaining.

My name is Graeme Codrington and welcome to Throw Forward Thursday, where we jump into the future and see what’s going on there, and sometimes, like today, we discover that the future is already here.

Because, of course, drones are now being made much bigger, much stronger, and that is allowing them to have many more applications in our world. For example, in emergency services, a lot of firefighters are now using drones to take hoses up to high-rise buildings or to fly cameras over areas that have got wildfires in them to not just look at the wildfires, but also these days, to drop chemicals and water onto them as well.

In the Netherlands, for a number of years now, they’ve been experimenting with putting a defibrillator onto a drone and if somebody is having a heart attack or some other medical emergency, the drone can fly out in advance of an ambulance getting there, and at least not just give emergency equipment, but also put the people on the scene of the incident in touch with a medical professional via cameras and videos. I suppose that didn’t really need a drone, but of course, the drone gets the medical equipment there.

It’s also being used to keep swimmers safe from sharks, as you put a drone up with a little bit of tracking technology in it that maybe has a look for sharks or other dangers lurking in the sea. I’m going to put links to all of these stories into the show notes or into the notes of the video, if you’re watching there.

Just the list goes on and on, we could spend an hour or more just throwing examples of the use of drones. To give you a few more, drones are being used in agriculture again to do surveys of large farms, but also to deliver farming equipment and in some cases chemicals and watering of certain specialist farm and agricultural environments. Drones are being used not just at sports stadiums where they get that wonderful high view of the sports field, or literally swooping around during the action in order to get in the ground feel, but also to actually hold mobile cell phone stations so that those people using mobile phones at large gatherings are not overwhelming the ground-based base stations that are there, but you can add extra capacity for WIFI and data centres as well.

In auditing, you might not have thought that we could use drones there, but drones are being used to fly through big warehouses and again with tracking technology, being able to do stock counts and look at facilities in order to make sure that they are all as reported on the balance sheet. Exactly what auditors need to do.

The final illustration I’ll give you because I do think we also have to be aware that drones are being used by the military. Yes, of course, we’ve known those big howell fire from the sky drones that are used by some of the world’s militaries, we’ve known about those for a while. But even small drones that are used by normal individuals are now capable of both swarming in order to provide a military offensive, or as what happened recently in the Ukraine Russia war, where a drone was actually flown onto a Russian plane and carrying a bomb and the bomb was detonated.

So, wow, there is a lot for you to have a look at and a lot for you to think about in terms of a variety of industries that can use drones now., and of course, more and more of these are going to open up in the future. Lots of opportunities and a few threats from the future of drones and flying machines of various sizes filling our skies.

We’re going to come back next week as we do now in Season Three of Throw Forward Thursday and talk about how you might apply the ideas of drone technology to your industries, and even if you think that you can’t use drone technology, maybe I’ll convince you that there is some application as we come back next week. So, make sure that you check in again next week for some of the application of this.

But for now, today, as always, thank you for joining me in the Throw Forward Thursday as we expand our mind to think about all the ways in which these little flying machines might fill our skies and change our lives and our industries.

Thanks, as always for joining me and I’ll see you again next week for some more application.



Future of fireworks and entertainment:
Dipl.-Ing. Lars Behrendt – The Future of Fireworks
Wonder World – The Future of Fireworks

Emergencies: fire fighting drones:
How Firefighters Can Better Manage Emergency Situations Using Drones
How Fire Departments Are Using Drones
Drones Take Their Place on the Cutting Edge of Wildfire Fighting
iChongqing – The First Fire Drill for High-Rise Fire Fighting Drones Was Held in Dazu, Chongqing
Arirang News – Firefighting drones evolve to extinguish fires and move patients
Dutch ambulance – defribulator + connect to doctor
The Evolution of UAVs: The Ambulance Drone

Keeping swimmers safe from sharks:
Drones can help keep swimmers and sharks safe at the same time

Future Of Agritech 2023: Technology and AI Enhancing Agri Value Chain
These seed-firing drones are planting 40,000 trees every day to fight deforestation

Mobile cellphone base station – example at sports events:
Optimizing fairness in cellular networks with mobile drone relays
These Drones Could Bring You 5G Networking After a Hurricane

Inventory and warehouse management and auditing:
Inventory Management Using Drone
Developing a Warehouse Drone Management System: Use Cases, Architecture, Key Technologies

War / Resistance:
A Resistance Group Landed a Drone on Top of a Russian Jet. The Footage Is Incredible
Drones of Mass Destruction 
Robots and Drones in War: Episode 28 of Throw Forward Thursday and Graeme Codrington Navigating the Future


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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.

For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.


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