Every gear head has imagined all of the crazy stuff they would do if they have a drone. And while drones might seem like a novelty right now, they’re only getting cheaper and easier to use – and easier to use in ways you would’ve never imagined. Soon, drones will be saving lives, acting as our own personal robots and stopping climate change. Don’t believe me? Just check out this list of 50 ingenious uses for your drone.
1. Take a selfie. Let’s start simple. Impress your friends and get a record breaking number of likes with a selfie shot from the air. That high point of view and key lighting might even make the selfie profile pic worthy.
2. Spy on your neighbors. Binoculars will soon be going out of business thanks to drones. Plus, spying with drones can offer much better vantage points than your limited window view.
3. Challenge your friends to a race. What’s the point of having a drone if you’re not going to use it to prove your superiority over your friends? Challenge your drone-owning friends to a drone race – or for the more daring, a drone fight.
4. Wedding drone photography. We’re not trying to put wedding photographers out of business, but we can’t deny that having a drone around to capture every second of your wedding is a good idea.
5. Be a paparazzi. Getting near celebrities can be hard, but with the help of drones you could get some of the most intimate, high value celebrity pics out there.
6. Drone air show. This might just be the future of the Chicago Air and Water show. Drones are significantly cheaper than classic Hornets and F-22, and with enough numbers, drones could put on an impressive spectacle.
7. Disaster relief. Natural disasters are an unfortunate reality with devastating effects, but drones could help deliver fresh water, food and supplies to people and places in need.
8. Search and rescue missions. Drones are much cheaper than helicopters, and more accurate than dogs. They can also fly low and, when equipped with HD video cameras, can help locate people in floods or dense surroundings.
9. Film live events. Don’t miss any of the action of the next live event you attend by watching it through the screen of your iPhone. With the help of drones, you can record the whole thing, while keeping your eyes and your hands free to enjoy the show.
10. Walk your dog. For the laziest and busiest dog owners, drones can help with your pet care. Give you dog a little extra exercise without taking any time from your own busy schedule.
11. Temporary cell towers and WiFi. We all know that one spot in the house that WiFi never reaches. Now Facebook is starting to use drones to set up temporary WiFi areas to help with those hard to connect places.
12. Bird watching. Bird watching just got a hell of a lot cooler with the help of drones. Ditch your old school binoculars and impress your bird gazing friends with your new gear.
13. Mail delivery. Mailmen will soon be a thing of the past with drone mail delivery right around the corner. We’ll have to wait and see how the neighborhood dogs respond to the new mail carriers.
14. Be a journalist. With the help of drones, journalists could stay safe from the dangers in conflict zones, while still catching everything on video.
15. Take farming to the next level. Let drones monitor your crops, apply pesticides and fertilizer while you stay out of the dirt.
16. Aerial cartography. Google Maps will soon be a thing of the past once aerial drone mapping takes hold. Just imagine what Drone Earth will look like in a few years.
17. At home assistant. Whether you’re cooking, cleaning or redecorating, drones could serve as the perfect helper in any number of household tasks.
18. Vacation photography. We all love good travel photography, but sometimes having a camera stuck to your face can make the actual experience of traveling less enjoyable. Drones can capture all of those exciting moments while you enjoy them hands-free.
19. Advertising. Attach a banner to your drone and fly it all around town to advertise for any product or service you want – flashy and effective with no annoying jingle necessary.
20. Security. Drones could be a huge help when it comes to 911 response times. An ambulance might take ten minutes to arrive at your house after a 911 call, but what if drones could make it there in just one or two?
21. Food delivery. San Francisco’s delivery game could use a little help, and what better place to get it from than flying robots? A start up in Germany is already doing it with drone delivered kebabs in under 10 minutes, and Dominos has its own drones that can carry up to two large pizzas within a four mile radius. Let’s get it together, SF.
22. People delivery. Drones could be the real jetpacks of the future, with Germany already inventing a 16 propeller Volocopter that can fly for 20 minutes.
23. Smuggle contraband across borders or behind bars. Trump could build a 50-foot wall between the US and Mexico, and it still wouldn’t keep out drones. This might just be the future of smuggling that criminals are looking for.
24. Shoot a movie. On a lighter note, shooting your own movie could be easier – and cheaper – than you ever expected with the help of drones. Now you can record 1080p videos for under $1000 – cheaper than most full-frame DSLRs.
25. Work in real estate. Aerial drone photography is starting to replace much more expensive aerial helicopter shots, saving real estate companies loads.
26. Go whale watching. Some drones, like the Insitu Integrator, are already being used to track the migration of whales off the coast of Australia.
27. Monitor gas and oil pipelines or oil rigs. Now we can use drones to automatically track any oil spills with infrared cameras. This is beneficial for oil companies, which get fined for spills, and the planet, which gets destroyed by them.
28. Film a commercial. A new Masterati commercial was recently shot entirely by a drone – and with such low costs and high quality, you too could be shooting your own high-speed car commercials.
29. Law enforcement. With thermal security cameras, drones could be a huge help when it comes to hostage searches and car chases. Just imagine what the show Cops could be like if drones were involved.
30. Deliver medicine. Essential medicines and vaccines aren’t always easy to acquire, but now Harvard and MIT are starting to build a drone that will help deliver medicine to isolated areas.
31. Work out buddy. Drones are the perfect workout partner because they never lose motivation, and they’ll track all of your specs so you can keep an eye on your progress.
32. Take holiday photos. Make the focus of this year’s family Christmas card the fact that your dad recently got his own drone. Give it that extra personalized touch by writing way too much information about the past year on the back of the card.
33. Go pig hunting. Are pigs getting into your crops at night? Now a firm in Louisiana is using drones with thermal cameras to catch crop-stealing pigs, and transmitting the video to on the ground hunters ready to take those pigs down.
34. Study wildlife. Drones will be especially helpful when it comes to endangered species research. Endangered animals are often hard to find and harder to study, but now we can get drones to go where people can’t.
35. Study the atmosphere. The Ozone has a growing hole in it and now NASA is using drones to better understand how the layer and the rest of the atmosphere work.
36. Inspect home damage. Ditch rickety landers and questionable floor boards and opt for a drone instead. Soon there won’t be any danger in checking your roof tiles or inspecting the attic for racoons.
37. Personal babysitter. We don’t recommend this for long date nights, but if you have to run out for a quick errand or two, keep an eye on your kid via drone help – or better yet, use it to spy on your kid’s date.
38. Send romantic love notes. Want to woo someone on Valentine’s Day? Send them a secret love note delivered via drone. If they’re not impressed, they’re not worthy of your time anyway.
39. Watch your kid’s sporting event. This is the perfect solution for busy parents whose children are just as busy as they are. If you can’t make it to Little Jimmy’s next tee-ball game, you can still catch it via drone footage.
40. Decorate for a party. Dropping a load of confetti at a surprise party just got a whole lot easier with a drone involved. And just think of the balloon potential.
41. Monitor for forest fires. Drones can be used to track and monitor wildfires using infrared cameras. This can be a huge help in deploying resources and cutting off forest fires before they grow too large.
42. Environmental watchdog. Or should we say, watchdrone? A drone recently helped discover that a meat packing plant was draining blood directly into a river in Texas.
43. Get beer delivered. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a huge crowd at a concert, dying for a drink and knowing full well that if you leave the crowd, you’ll never get your perfect spot back. Now, a company in South Africa is working on an app that will allow people to order and receive beers at festivals and concerts, via drone.
44. 3D Mapping. If basic cartography is too, well, basic for you, go a step farther with your drone and start 3D mapping. New software from Pix4D creates maps from aerial drone photos.
45. Personal air conditioning unit. It might sound silly, but just wait until you air conditioning breaks on a sweltering hot day, and you’ll be glad to have those drone propellers creating a wind current.
46. Go tornado chasing. Everyone who’s ever seen the movie Twister has imagined how cool it would be to see one of those bad boys up close. A UAV called Tempest flew for 44 minutes in a supercell thunderstorm last year, and can get close enough to a tornado to report essential information to researchers on the ground.
47. Waterboy and food vendor. Now you don’t have to worry about your food getting manhandled by dozens of people as it gets passed to your stadium seat. With drones, your nachos and hotdogs can be delivered directly to you lap.
48. Emergency care. Drones could deliver life saving supplies, like defibrillators, and provide two way communication between medics in the field and at hospitals.
49. Virtual vacations. Now you can travel all around the world virtually, using drones with 360 degree cameras. You can finally take that trip to India or Spain that you’ve always dreamt of.
50. Improve your social media game. Let’s be honest, this is a huge part of owning a drone. Post cool pics and videos, start a separate Instagram, write a blog, do it all.