Low-Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles-Based Internet of Things Services: Comprehensive Survey and Future Perspectives

Naser Hossein Motlagh, Tarik Taleb, Osama Arouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

396 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have attracted a lot of attention, since they represent a new potential market. Along with the maturity of the technology and relevant regulations, a worldwide deployment of these UAVs is expected. Thanks to the high mobility of drones, they can be used to provide a lot of applications, such as service delivery, pollution mitigation, farming, and in the rescue operations. Due to its ubiquitous usability, the UAV will play an important role in the Internet of Things (IoT) vision, and it may become the main key enabler of this vision. Whilst these UAVs would be deployed for specific objectives (e.g., service delivery), they can be, at the same time, used to offer new Internet of Things (IoT) value-added services when they are equipped with suitable and remotely controllable machine type communications (MTC) devices (i.e., sensors, cameras, and actuators). However, deploying UAVs for the envisioned purposes cannot be done before overcoming the relevant challenging issues. These challenges comprise not only technical issues, such as physical collision, but also regulation issues as this nascent technology could be associated with problems like breaking the privacy of people or even use it for illegal operations like drug smuggling. Providing the communication to UAVs is another challenging issue facing the deployment of this technology. In the present paper, a comprehensive survey on the UAVs and the related issues will be introduced. In addition, our envisioned UAV-based architecture for the delivery of UAV-based value-added IoT services from the sky will be introduced, and the relevant key challenges and requirements will be presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-922
Number of pages24
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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