To read this content please select one of the options below:

Exploring contributions of drones towards Industry 4.0

Mohd Javaid (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India)
Ibrahim Haleem Khan (College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Ravi Pratap Singh (Department of Industrial and Production Engineering, Dr B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India)
Shanay Rab (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India)
Rajiv Suman (Department of Industrial & Production Engineering, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, India)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 30 November 2021

Issue publication date: 21 April 2022




Unmanned aerial vehicles are commonly known as UAVs and drones. Nowadays, industries have begun to realise the operational and economic benefits of drone-enabled tasks. The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, drones, etc., represent implementable advanced technologies intended to accomplish Industry 4.0. The purpose of this study is to discuss the significant contributions of drones for Industry 4.0.


Nowadays, drones are used for inspections, mapping and surveying in difficult or hazardous locations. For writing this paper, relevant research papers on drone for Industry 4.0 are identified from various research platforms such as Scopus, Google Scholar, ResearchGate and ScienceDirect. Given the enormous extent of the topic, this work analyses many papers, reports and news stories in an attempt to comprehend and clarify Industry 4.0.


Drones are being implemented in manufacturing, entertainment industries (cinematography, etc.) and machinery across the world. Thermal-imaging devices attached to drones can detect variable heat levels emanating from a facility, trigger the sprinkler system and inform emergency authorities. Due partly to their utility and adaptability in industrial areas such as energy, transportation, engineering and more, autonomous drones significantly impact Industry 4.0. This paper discusses drones and their types. Several technological advances and primary extents of drones for Industry 4.0 are diagrammatically elaborated. Further, the authors identified and discussed 19 major applications of drones for Industry 4.0.


This paper’s originality lies in its discussion and exploration of the capabilities of drones for Industry 4.0, especially in manufacturing organisations. In addition to improving efficiency and site productivity, drones can easily undertake routine inspections and check streamlines operations and maintenance procedures. This work contributes to creating a common foundation for comprehending Industry 4.0 outcomes from many disciplinary viewpoints, allowing for more research and development for industrial innovation and technological progress.



Javaid, M., Khan, I.H., Singh, R.P., Rab, S. and Suman, R. (2022), "Exploring contributions of drones towards Industry 4.0", Industrial Robot, Vol. 49 No. 3, pp. 476-490.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles