​​​​Drone technology is currently used for a variety of tasks, including outage restoration; preventative inspection of power lines, transmission towers, and pipelines; conducting environmental surveys; and monitoring wildlife.  Recent advancements include the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, enabling drones to help detect and analyze issues in real-time, reducing the need for human intervention.

This article explores how some co-ops are using new drone technology, as well as other emerging technologies, to help enable more efficient, economical, and safer operations.​​