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Drones research underway for new uses in business

Posted at 4:31 PM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 20:40:44-05

They aren't just considered toys anymore. Drones are now taking part in nearly every facet of life.

From delivering packages, and now saving lives.

Unmanned aircraft will soon help clear accidents scenes, keep SWAT members out of harms way, and even deliver water to stranded hikers. 

"I think this is the future of public safety," said Salt River Police Lt Anthony Sandoval.  

Sandoval said his department is constantly exploring different ideas on how to incorporate drones into daily life. 

"When I first started doing crash investigations, we would shut down roads for eight to ten hours," said Sandoval. "Cash measurements and imaging from a drone allows that time to be cut significantly, eliminating major traffic jams." 

"We could probably reduce that to 15 to 30 minutes," said Sandoval.  

He's just one of a half dozen law enforcement agencies making their way through displays at the Arizona UAS Summit Tuesday. 

From Goodyear to Scottsdale, Mesa fire to DPS, all looking for the same thing, innovative ways to keep you safe. 

"There are many, many industries that want to utilize this technology," said Brian Wynne with the Association for Unmanned Vehicles International. 

Wynne said that's why it's important get those people in the same room with the creators of the technology.

"Typically these drones you can launch within minutes," said Jason McNally of AUV flight services. 

McNally says one day, search and rescue teams will ditch the helicopter for dozens of drones covering more ground in a fraction of the time; in the end saving more lives.  

"Drone swarms are a real thing. I've had the pleasure of working on some programs where your controlling 30 plus drones," said McNally. 

And training who will fly them is happening in the valley too. 

"The instructor can set various weather conditions and malfunctions," said Shahar Kosti with Simlat.  

Kosti said their simulators will highlight a class at Arizona State University next year, giving students the hands on training they need to fill the jobs of the future.  

"There's no question that unmanned systems and aircraft are creating jobs right now," said Brian Wynne. 

Medical emergencies are also a focus of drone companies; for example, you're having a heart attack and need an a-e-d, drones may one day fly it to you prior to the ambulance arriving at your door step.