For sharp-minded execs, drones are the new black – with one business estimating their drone and location-based analytics strategy will deliver cost savings of 60 per cent.
I read somewhere once that drones are essentially like flying smartphones with propellers – in that they have cameras, accelerometers, GPS and in-built smarts. I like this analogy as it pushes the complexity of the technology aside and is a really simply way to understand the value drones can bring to your business.
There’s no ignoring the fact the drone phenomenon has taken off throughout Australia and around the world. In the United States alone, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts the number of drones sold annually will expand from over two million units in 2016 to approximately seven-million units in 2020.
These figures are not surprising and certainly ring true for Australia as well, given the scope for using drones is virtually limitless. Whether it’s assessing crop conditions and monitoring growth through the season, assessing damage following a bushfire, detecting leaks in water pipes, or even playing Pokémon Go – the commercial capabilities of drones means they are one of the hottest new trends being explored by sharp minded execs across a range of industries.
And rightly so. As the benefits of drone use become more widely understood, the price of the technology itself is being driven down. You can now pick up a state-of-the-art drone for under $500 – and when you look at the value it can deliver back to your business, the ROI is off-the-charts.
For example, from an engineering perspective, you can use a drone to closely examine the condition of infrastructure, inspect a construction site or even to capture real-world imagery of the terrain of a potential new development site.
Think of the dollars saved from capturing this intel through traditional means. Leading global engineering firm McKim & Creed Inc. is just one company which has used location-based analytics to drive value from their UAVs – and they estimate the solution will result in a time and cost savings of 60 per cent compared to conventional techniques.
We recently ran a webinar which gives you a little more insight into the commercial benefits of drone technology – including tips on how to get started and an introduction into the legalities you need to be aware of when using the technology.
About the author
Dr Dipak Paudyal
Principal Consultant for Remote Sensing and Imagery