There’s a big difference between personal drones and military drones. Originally created for military use, unmanned aerial vehicles have since proven to feature a wide variety of personal and professional applications.  Let’s check out a few military and personal drone uses, shall we?


Military drones generally fall into one of six categories. These include target and decoy, which provides “ground and aerial gunnery” on a target that’s similar to a standard missile. Other uses include reconnaissance, or battlefield intelligence, as well as research and development. Military drones are also used in combat when flying into enemy territory using human pilots is deemed too risky.

Operating a drone for non-recreational purposes in the United States requires a Drone Certification of Authorization according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Non-recreational drone use is also regulated at the state level.


While professional drone use extends far past the military to include farming, filmmaking, marketing, and delivery applications among many others, personal drone uses are just plain fun. Ideal for drone photographers and videographers looking to test the proverbial waters, many personal drones come equipped with quality cameras. If a personal drone does not include a camera, it generally features a mount for an aerial camera, such as a GoPro Hero.

Personal drones are popular among surfers looking to capture incredible shots when riding huge waves, and among travelers interested in obtaining unusual, glorious shots of national parks and the like.

Such drones often blur the professional and personal use line. For example, they’re increasingly popular among farmers. They’ve already been used in Japan for the last 20-some years, where farmland is frequently located on steep hillsides.

“Those vehicles can treat an acre in five minutes that’s very difficult or even impossible to do with a tractor,” Ben Gielow, a spokesperson for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, told National Geographic in 2013. What is your favorite drone use?