An unmanned aerial vehicle, also known as a UAV or remotely piloted aircraft, is an airplane without a human being in it. UAVs have become a critical part of an overall unmanned aerial system, which comprise a UAV, an on-board computer, and a network of remote control units. UAVs can perform a variety of tasks, from conducting research to delivering aid, but most are used for surveillance. A variety of different tools allow UAVs to collect data and images, as well as provide the controls necessary to locate, maintain, and then monitor a given area.
As the demand for surveillance has increased, so has the size and strength of UAVs. Small UAVs are ideal for collecting information from a distance, such as when keeping watch over a crowded field, or in a remote area where there is no human presence. For this purpose, small UAVs such as the Blackbird, Shadow, Dragon Eye, or Paladin are often used. However, these are not the only types of UAVs currently available. The military also has a variety of different models, such as the Predator, Shadow, Fire scout, or Firebolt, all of which are armed and capable of both indoor and outdoor operation. Even though most consumers own a smaller UAV such as the smaller Shadow or Firebolt, there are several different sizes and models available for private individuals to purchase.
The future of UAVs looks strong, and many believe that the use of remotely piloted aircraft will be more common than many people think. In fact, in the near future it may even be impossible to live without one, whether it be for business or personal use. It is important to note that the United States government does not want to use these remotely piloted vehicles for anything other than emergency or law enforcement purposes, but that the trend toward small UAVs is growing so rapidly, that they will probably be used for a variety of other purposes. Until then, the demand for drone delivery services will continue to grow.