Confronted by a life-threatening emergency, the New York Police Department used a drone to check out a real-life hostage drama taking place in Brooklyn that was believed to involve a suspect with a gun.
The drone hovered near an open window and sent back live video of the hostage-taker momentarily putting his gun down on a window sill.
Officers used that brief moment when the kidnapper was unarmed to storm the apartment and end the stalemate without anyone being hurt.
It was another spotlight moment for drones as their capacity for hard work and versatility continues to expand spectacularly in Australia and around the world.
They are now a treasured and essential part of life because of their low cost, speed and ability to get into inaccessible places quickly and transmit vital information immediately.
Now drones have lifted their performance bar even higher with the Wing company, a subsidiary of Google, getting American Federal Government approval to operate its drone delivery system as an airline in the U.S.
The Federal approval follows the Wing Company completing extensive tests of drones in America and around Canberra in Australia in 2014.
According to reports from America, Wing has officially launched its commercial delivery service in parts of Canberra after gaining regulatory approval. Customers in Virginia who took part in Wing’s delivery trial waited on their lawn for the drone to arrive and drop their package.’
The company’s partners offering goods for delivery in the Canberra area are said to include local cafes, coffee shops and bakeries as well as confectionery and ice cream specialists.
In Australia drones have become hard-working adjuncts to everyday life, filling important roles in sport, recreation, surf life-saving rescue, shark patrols, cattle mustering, photography, and surveillance, fire-fighting and fishing and now home deliveries.
Drones more than justify their use in Australia but in America the sky really is the limit.
The use of unmanned aircraft in the U.S. is growing amazingly as companies and customers rush to be involved.
Associated Press says that at the end of 2018, “110,000 commercial drones are operating in U.S. airspace,” citing government figures that also projected the number would more than quadruple by 2022.
Expansion plans include Wing beginning trial deliveries in Europe this year to homes in Helsinki in Finland
In a statement to an American website Wing said:
“Air Carrier Certification means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States.”
Wing says unmanned drones are environmentally friendly and economical, which opens up the potential for lower prices for goods.
Their advantages of drones range from reducing carbon emissions and traffic snarls to road congestion to increasing connections between communities and local businesses.
Aware of issues causing public concern, the Wing says safety remains its top priority as focus continues on developing and realising the full potential of drones.
Wing’s electric drones are powered by 14 propellers, nearly all of which are top-mounted to help carry loads of up to 1.5kg of everyday items, from food and drinks to medicine and emergency supplies.
Other delivery companies including United Parcel Service and DHL Express are also following Google and Amazon in developing their own drone systems.
Research is also continuing into developing lightweight but powerful batteries that will further extend the delivery range of drones.