Could self-balancing scooters be great news for the environment?

Two Wheels Self BalanceSelf-balancing scooters are the futuristic hoverboard type device that we’ve all been waiting for. There is no denying that they are exciting and extremely fun to use, but can they also be beneficial to the environment?

Benefits

Electronically powered

The main benefit that the rising use of self balancing scooters provides to the environment is the fact that they are electronic and powered by batteries. If the use of them became more frequent for short journeys rather than simply for fun then this could dramatically reduce the amount of fuel we consume, which would do wonders for the environment. The use of fuel such as petrol and diesel is one of the main causes of the environmental crisis we are now in. Car manufacturers have already taken on this point and have developed hybrid and fully electronic cars. However, these are extremely expensive and most people could not afford to drive one of the environmentally friendly vehicles. Therefore, if the option was there to use self-balancing scooters for short journeys which would be a lot cheaper, would definitely reduce the amount of traditional car use and in turn help to cut down on fuel consumption.

Single Person Operation

Self-balancing scooters can only be operated by one person at a time. This might seem like an inconvenience if you actually want to use it for travelling purposes as obviously there is no option of carrying a passenger. However, in terms of the environment it could definitely be a benefit. If more people were using self-balancing scooters for travelling purposes, then the roads would be far less congested than they are now. There also would not be as desperate a need to create new and wider roads, the development of which puts a huge strain on the environment. There is also the benefit of easy storage with the scooters. They are essentially not much bigger than a skateboard, so are extremely easy to transport and to store. This would reduce the need for huge parking complexes, driveways and anywhere else developed to store traditional vehicles, which again would limit new construction and help to reduce the consumption of goods which could damage the environment.

Problems

Road Illegality

Even though the benefits of using self balancing scooters on a regular basis would definitely help the environmental problems we are currently suffering. There are some problems with this becoming a reality. At present, it is actually illegal to use one of these scooter on roads, and even on pedestrian walkways. Currently the use of the scooters is only allowed on private land when the land owner’s permission has been obtained. This obviously poses a huge problem, and so many people do not have the opportunity to use their scooter as much as they would like and are forced to use traditional modes of transportation such as personal cars and public transport.

Economic Decline

The motor vehicle industry is huge and provides jobs and financial security for many people. If self-balancing scooters were declared to be road legal and the use of them really took off, then it is likely that we would experience a decline in the amount of cars on the roads. As mentioned previously this would be a huge benefit to the environment, however, economically speaking it would not be such a benefit. Many companies would find that their services are no longer required or that they would need to downsize their operations and re-think their traditional methods. This could result in huge job losses and even bigger profit losses which could potentially kick-start a domino effect that negatively changes the entire economy.

How Drones have a role to play in Environmental Disasters

As technology has advanced, there has been more and more notable news regarding the use of quadcopters in everyday life. Quadcopters are not only giving us the ability to see things from the sky like we have never seen before, but they are also now showing the potential to be helpful in a state of emergency.

Michael Toscano, the President of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems has stated that having things like quadcopters in the air after natural disasters and after tragedies such as the Boston bombing helps people know and understand what type of risk they may be facing before going in to a rescue zone.

This is particularly critical so that people are not being sent into areas that are so unsafe that they are putting their lives at risk. Instead of walking in to the unknown, quadcopters are now giving rescue workers the ability to see exactly how they can address potentially dangerous situations in the safest way possible. While the use of manned aircraft has typically been the way this has been done, the use of unmanned aircraft allows an individual to get closer to the ground to see what is really going on before sending rescue personnel in.

Here is an example of drones being used after the earthquake in Nepal:

What it means in practice

Quadcopters are also easier to fly and allow an operator to hover over certain areas for extended periods of time so that people on the ground can get a really good look at what is truly going on in a certain area. If a natural disaster occurs and spans a large area, multiple quadcopters can be sent in to different areas to scan the area and look for potential survivors. This is a safer alternative than sending in larger amounts of rescue workers to areas that may not be safe to enter.

The key goal of any type of disaster, whether it be natural or man made, is to get as many people out alive as possible. With a quadcopter, the safety of everyone involved in a rescue attempt is increased. Quadcopters can easily take pictures and help rescuers develop an appropriate plan of action to make sure they are doing their jobs quickly and efficiently.

There is multiple type of quadcopters on the market. Some are designed for personal use and others are designed specifically for large scale jobs. Determining the type of quadcopter that you needs depends largely on the job that you want them to do. If you are using a quadcopter to simply survey land or explore areas that you have never been, a smaller, easy to use unit is recommended. If you are looking for a quadcopter for search and rescue missions there are a variety of larger units and smaller units that all have different type of camera and flying options. The best quadcopters tend to be powerful pieces of equipment with HD cameras and long battery life.

Determine what it is that you want to use your quadcopter for before making a purchase. Also be sure that you check the regulations in your area for having one. Since this type of technology is fairly new for personal use, there needs to be some research done before you commit to a purchase. Always ensure that you are not violating people’s privacy as this could potentially become a crime if you are not aware of what the rules and regulations are for quadcopters in your area.