Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been around for a long time by the various military forces in the world.  Originally, they were used for reconnaissance purposes such as spotting troop movements.  In the past 10 years, they’ve become more notorious for incorporating weapon delivery platforms and being controversially used in remotely killing people.

Commercially, they’ve been a hit for consumers to fly and take pictures and video of activities or to race them as a hobby.  Businesses have started using them for aerial photography, property inspection, real estate listings and other situations that normally required an expensive airplane or helicopter charter.  And, most people have heard about shippers like Amazon wanting to have a fleet of drones to deliver packages straight to your door.  Related to all this is folks like Uber wanting to use the same technology to transport people without the need for cars or drivers.

Another aspect of where this industry is headed that promises to be useful for us is around drones being able to do useful physical work.  Check out this video from researchers at Stanford University on some really clever capabilities they’ve built into their test micro-sized drones: