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Why Drones Are The Future

Why Drones Are The Future 1

Guest post by Arthur Daniel Cohen

Technology that used to be considered nothing more than a fantasy, something that belonged in a cartoon like The Jetsons but certainly not in the “real world”, has become one of the most disruptive and important technologies of our time.

Drone technology has revolutionized our world in ways most people never could have expected or anticipated before. The military has certainly helped to pioneer drone technology (leveraging them in surveillance and combat situations), but in the private sector this technology has been pushed even further into the future and some new and innovative ways.

According to Skylogic Research, more than 2.3 million drones are going to be sold in 2020 alone – many of them by private individuals and organizations looking to take full advantage of everything these unmanned flight solutions have to offer.

Here are just some of the most exciting ways drone technology is transforming our world and will continue to do so for years and years to come.

Delivery Systems

Amazon looks to take advantage of drone technology to deliver packages within the next few years. CEO Jeff Bezos has helped lead the charge in developing new drone technology, in large part because 86% of all Amazon orders weight less than 5 pounds – lightweight enough to be delivered by drone technology that currently exists.

There are still some technical hurdles to clear right now, but it may not be all that long until we see an army of drone delivery robots dropping Amazon packages from the sky and speeding up delivery systems throughout the US and later the world.


Providing farmers with an “eye in the sky” that allows them to much more effectively monitor the health and vitality of their fields, farmers all over the United States now use drone technology – much of it that costs less than $2000 – to monitor fields that would have cost thousands and thousands of dollars each month in helicopter or airplane rides.

New drone technology is being innovated to help spray crops, to automate the harvesting system, and to more accurately estimate crop yields earlier than ever before. This is a very exciting time for everything drones have to offer the world of agriculture in the future has never been brighter.

Filmmaking and Photography

Nothing adds more cinematic impact than aerial photography, but this type of photography used to only be available to those with mountains of money that could rent helicopters or aircraft and then outfit them with high definition cameras.

Today’s drone technology makes it easy for even amateur filmmakers and photographers to get the kinds of shots never before available. Changing the way that aerial photography has been conducted for decades, drones are reshaping these arts and will continue to do so for years to come.

Healthcare & Rescue Operations

Typically, a rescue operation is a battle against time. A rescuer gets the work done quickly and efficiently. That’s where drones are very useful. Through thermal sensors, drones can spot lost individuals. They are also practical at night or even during risky terrains.

Geographic Mapping

Drones have had a significant impact in the field of 3D geographic mapping. Mapping different regions of the planet, which are easily accessible to people. That might consist of inaccessible mountaintops or risky coastlines. Drones are put up to use to examine the terrain and arrange 3D maps.


Believe it or not, cities and municipalities to do inspections that weren’t physically possible before – helping these officials find structural flaws and potential emergencies long before they become actual emergencies are using armies of drones throughout the United States.

This is changing the way that industries go about maintaining and upgrading their properties, influencing the way that cities go about overhauling their infrastructure, and will continue to improve the way that construction companies design and develop new solutions with the help of their flying robotic assistants.

Why Drones Are The Future 2

About the Author:

Arthur Daniel Cohen is drone blogger who loves drones, with 4 years in the drone industry and 2 years of experience as a professional drone pilot.

Why Drones Are The Future 3

SkyOp LLC Inks Deal to Bring Its Drone Training STEM Curriculum to Local School Districts


Canandaigua, N.Y. – October 2, 2019 – SkyOp LLC, developer of industry-leading drone training courseware, announced that it has been awarded a cooperative purchasing contract to make its customizable SkyOp Drone Training Curriculum available to local school districts through the New York Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). Under the state-wide agreement, SkyOp will deliver its proprietary workforce-development STEM curriculum directly to local districts while the BOCES will provide support and training for teachers and district staff to roll out the curriculum. Eliminating much of the financial concern for budget-conscious school boards, the cooperative agreement enables school districts to receive funds from the state (BOCES aid) for purchases made through the program based on the state approved formula. Educational institutions and statewide educational support organizations looking to learn more about the ready-to-deploy SkyOp Drone Training Curriculum can visit: https://www.skyop.com/training-solutions/stem-cte-ptech/.

The SkyOp Drone Training Curriculum goes beyond the basics of drone racing or aerial imaging to teach a cohesive skill set that combines regulatory, operational and technical knowledge about drones with data collection and analysis workflows in order to prepare students for careers as licensed drone pilots. With proprietary instructor and student editions of its cloud-based e-textbook, SkyOp can deliver ever-evolving course materials in real-time. This ensures instructors have the most up-to-date teaching tools and students have access to a blended learning experience that immediately positions them for careers using drones. As drone applications continue to diversify, graduates of the SkyOp Drone Curriculum are eligible for in-demand careers in law enforcement, media, agriculture, real estate, construction, insurance and more.

“BOCES actually changed my life, so I know first-hand the affects that programs like this can have on students’ lives, and I see an opportunity to change the career trajectory for students across the country.” said Brian Pitre, SkyOp LLC’s Chairman of the Board. “In high school I was a bit of a lost student until a teacher recommended me for a data processing curriculum made possible through BOCES. I fell in love instantly, became the top student in my class, and now I have BOCES to thank for my 52 years in the technology industry.”

As a customizable curriculum, the SkyOp Drone Training Curriculum can be tailored to fit each educational institution’s unique needs. This flexibility is ideal for schools looking to integrate drone training into current school year or summer programs for high school juniors and seniors. The six core components of SkyOp’s comprehensive STEM curriculum represent more than 300 hours of instruction and coursework which includes:

  • Intro to Drones: Students will receive a basic overview of drone flight and function, learn to fly effectively with and without GPS, and discuss how drones are currently being deployed for commercial and public safety use.
  • Part 107 Test Prep: Students will gain an understanding of the safety and operational requirements necessary to successfully complete the FAA Unmanned Aircraft – General test and become fully-licensed drone pilots.
  • Hands-On Drone Flight Training – DJI Phantom 4 Pro: Students will receive comprehensive outdoor flight training on the versatile DJI Phantom 4 Pro including all of its advanced features.
  • Drone Photo and Video Production: Students will use their flight skills to capture outstanding aerial imagery (pictures and video) and then be taught how to manage and manipulate that data in popular digital editing software to create video productions.
  • Intro to Autonomous Drone Apps with Hands-On Flight Training: Students will learn to program autonomous missions, becoming proficient in the execution of the autonomous flight protocols which enable many commercial drone deployments.
  • Intro to Pix4D: Students will learn how to use an advanced photogrammetry software package to turn raw data into actionable intelligence as they are introduced to orthomosaic mapping, 3D modeling, point clouds, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and more.

The SkyOp Drone Training Curriculum was refined in partnership with Hudson Valley Community College and the U.S. Department of Labor’s U.S. Job Corps in Oneonta, NY.  Having seen the effectiveness of the curriculum first-hand, Oneonta Job Corps Academy Director, Chris Kuhn, noted, “The SkyOp program goes way beyond preparing students for the FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot exam to include various flight applications, data collection practices and understanding the useful work drones can deliver. Our graduates will be a step ahead of the others thanks to SkyOp.”

To learn more about the SkyOp ready-to-deploy drone curriculum and how it could benefit institutional STEM programs, or to explore cooperative educational service options in your local area, please visit: https://www.skyop.com/training-solutions/stem-cte-ptech/

About SkyOp LLC

Headquartered in Canandaigua, N.Y., SkyOp LLC develops industry leading drone training courseware, licenses it to its partners and delivers it directly to end users, facilitating the safe, lawful and effective adoption of drone technology. Its turnkey training solutions range from introductory hands-on drone training to nationally recognized high school STEM curricula. In addition to hosting training courses, SkyOp works with educational institutions, public safety organizations and businesses of all sizes to develop custom training solutions that meet their unique needs. To learn more about SkyOp, please visit: https://www.skyop.com.

AirMap Acquires Hangar Technology, Expanding its Capabilities and Technology Offerings to Serve Developers and Enterprises

AirMap Acquires Hangar Technology, Expanding its Capabilities and Technology Offerings to Serve Developers and Enterprises 5

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — AirMap, the leading global airspace intelligence platform for the drone economy, today announced that it has acquired Hangar Technology, a leading drone workflow automation platform for enterprises. The acquisition continues AirMap’s strategy of extending open, connected, and automated airspace management solutions to the entire drone economy and expands Hangar’s reach to new international markets and industry applications.

AirMap is an industry leader in enabling compliant drone operations at scale through automation, inserting digital technologies into traditional traffic management systems so that drone operators can integrate their operations safely and efficiently into low-altitude airspace. In acquiring Hangar, AirMap augments its offering for enterprises, who are faced with mounting complexities to ensure the safety, efficiency, and scalability of their advanced drone operations.

Founded in 2015, Hangar Technology automates drone workflows for enterprises. Its products include JobSight, a construction-focused application that automates orthomosaics, panoramas, and other imaging, and TowerSight, a digital workflow application for automated tower inspections.

Using the world’s most sophisticated autonomous flight and mission execution engine, Hangar software precision-scans every inch of an asset. The Hangar platform then automatically ingests, processes, and analyzes drone data to create an accurate digital reconstruction and produce detailed component analysis.

AirMap will extend Hangar’s best-in-class workflow automation, high-precision flight planning and image processing capabilities to its international ecosystem of developers and enterprises, who can expect enhancements to AirMap’s platform of APIs and SDKs in the coming months.

“Hangar first joined the AirMap community as a developer of breakthrough automation technologies for enterprises,” said Ben Marcus, AirMap Chairman and co-founder. “We’re excited to bring this engineering talent in-house to make this technology available to our entire  developer community.”

“We’ve worked closely with major players across construction and cell towers to streamline and automate every part of their UAS inspection workflow,” said Scott Lumish, CEO of Hangar. “We’re eager to combine forces with AirMap to enhance these offerings with AirMap’s airspace management capabilities for enterprises worldwide.”

Hangar Technology is a subsidiary of AirMap and retains its headquarters and team in Austin, Texas. Hangar Technology will make presentations at the DJI AirWorks 2019 conference in Los Angeles on September 24-26, 2019.

Droniq and Aerobits agree to work together on standards for drone tracking

Droniq and Aerobits agree to work together on standards for drone tracking 6

Frankfurt, 24 September 2019 – Droniq and the Polish company Aerobits signed a memorandum of understanding at Intergeo/Interaerial Solutions 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. Droniq is a joint venture between the German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) and Deutsche Telekom, the German-based telecommunications company. The objective of the partnership between Droniq and Aerobits is to develop European standards for the hardware required to track drones using a UAS traffic management system (UTM).  

By equipping drones with a special LTE modem, known as the hook-on device (HOD), Droniq has developed a solution to answer the question of how unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can be made visible in airspace. This device continuously sends the drone’s position over Deutsche Telekom’s mobile communications network to the UTM system of DFS. The new generation of hook-on devices have more expanded capabilities. They can receive FLARM (flight alarm) and ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) and forward these position data to the UTM. These collision avoidance systems are used by sailplanes, powered aircraft and helicopters that fly in uncontrolled airspace under visual flight rules. This way, drone pilots always have a precise overview of all flight movements in their vicinity.

Hook-on device also transmits the position of the UAS via FLARM

The hook-on device can transmit its own position data via FLARM, so a glider pilot near a drone equipped with such a device, for example, will automatically receive a warning in the cockpit even if they are not using the UTM. “This new development delivers a maximum level of safety in very low-level airspace and is a central step towards safety for all airspace users,” said Jan-Eric Putze, CEO of Droniq.

Exclusive partnership with Aerobits

Currently, there are no technical standards at the national or European level for the tracking of drones. By signing the memorandum of understanding and agreeing on an exclusive partnership, Droniq and Aerobits are driving work in this area forward. “The decisive factors in our decision were in particular Aerobits’ combination of technical knowledge, aviation expertise and speed of implementation,” said Ralph Schepp, Droniq’s COO. Different variants of the hook-on device will be developed as part of the partnership. One will have a fixed housing and another will be an OEM version for drone manufacturers, which can be fitted directly onto the aircraft. 

“Reducing the size and weight of hardware so that they can be used in drones is a fundamental step for us to integrate drones into airspace. That is why Aerobits is such a valuable partner for Droniq,” said Thilo Vogt, Droniq’s Head of Sales and Business Development.

Attached photo:

Droniq and the Polish company Aerobits signed a memorandum of understanding at Intergeo/Interaerial Solutions 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. From left to right: Ralph Schepp (COO Droniq), Thilo Vogt (Head of Sales and Business Development Droniq), Jan-Eric Putze (CEO Droniq) with new HOD, Christoph Stolle (Droniq), Konrad Cioch (Head of Business Development Aerobits) and Rafal Osypiuk (CTO Aerobits).

15-Hour Flight Time – MMC UAV Launches New Record-Breaking Hydrone

15-Hour Flight Time – MMC UAV Launches New Record-Breaking Hydrone 7
MMC UAV at InterGEO 2019

SHENZHEN, September 20th, 2019/ MMC UAV launched its brand new hydrone Griflion H that features a record-breaking 15-hour flight time on September 17th, 2019 in Germany during the InterGEO 2019, the world’s largest conference and trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. It is a hydrogen-powered vertical take-off and landing drone with an integrated design. MMC-developed hydrogen fuel battery shows great stability and tremendously extends drone flight time.

15-Hour Flight Time – MMC UAV Launches New Record-Breaking Hydrone 8
MMC Griflion H——15-Hour Flight Time

15-Hour Flight Time for Enhanced Mission Efficiency

The biggest highlight of Griflion H is the elevated flight time thanks to its high-efficiency metal bipolar plate hydrogen fuel cell with a maximum hydrogen storage capacity of 27L. Its flight time reaches a record-breaking 15 hours without payload and it can fly for 10 hours even with a 3kg payload while most drones in market have a maximum 2-hour flight time. In mapping practice, mission is usually interrupted by multiple take-offs and landings in different spots and hence accomplished in lower efficiency. The extended flight time of Griflion H greatly improves mission efficiency.

Other features include convenient operation, high security, wide coverage, zero emission and low noise. Coupled with different payloads, it provides solutions for global customers in areas like surveying and mapping, rescue, security & protection, border scouting and forest scouting.

15-Hour Flight Time – MMC UAV Launches New Record-Breaking Hydrone 9
Successful Test Flight of Griflion H

Industrial-chain Products with Integrated Design

As one of the few companies capable of industrial chain integration and independent research and development, MMC UAV has developed its own hydrogen fuel cell and other related products including hydrogen cylinder, pressure reducing valve, booster bump, and hydrogen production device.

15-Hour Flight Time – MMC UAV Launches New Record-Breaking Hydrone 10
MMC Hydrogen Fuel System Products

MMC UAV has been devoted to matching hydrogen fuel cell with drones and launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered multirotor ——HyDrone 1800 that filled the vacancy in the market back to 2016. Its 273-minute flight time resolved the standing problem of short flight time among drones.

Griflion H has undergone overall upgrades in hydrogen fuel cell and drone design and comes with an established hydrogen fuel system that breaks its own flight time record.

Low heat and silence make the new drone safer and more convenient. The integrated design tightens the connection among drone, fuel cell and payload.

About MMC

MMC UAV is a leading industrial UAV manufacturer that is devoted to producing high-performance UAV products. With its unique industrial chain integration advantage, it has established industrial chain product portfolio including drone, airframe, power system, flight control, image transmission, ground control station and it tailors best UAV solutions as well as OEM and ODM services for global customers in areas like inspection, public safety, search & rescue, surveying & mapping, environmental protection and many more so they can work in greater safety, with higher efficiency and by lower cost.

AI and Machine Learning Enable Black Swift Technologies’ Emergency Safe Landing Functionality

AI and Machine Learning Enable Black Swift Technologies’ Emergency Safe Landing Functionality 11

Boulder, CO – Black Swift Technologies (BST), a specialized engineering firm based in Boulder, CO, announced today its revolutionary Automated Emergency Safe Landing (AESL) functionality for UAS. The technology integrates state of the art machine learning algorithms and cutting edge onboard processors into the Black Swift S2™ UAS to capture and classify images, at altitude, enabling a UAS to autonomously identify a safe landing area in the event of a catastrophe—a key enabler for safe beyond line of sight flights. This solution processes large amounts of data quickly and efficiently to enable the identification of objects and terrain to be avoided in order to land the aircraft without harm to people or property. 

“Our emphasis is to make UAS operations safer for both operators and the public,” emphasizes Jack Elston, Ph.D., CEO of Black Swift Technologies. “The goal of AESL is to be able to take a snapshot and within 60 seconds of something like a catastrophic engine failure, be able to identify a landing zone, calculate a landing trajectory, and safely land a UAS away from people and obstacles. We remain convinced that a thorough understanding and integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning can help serve as a catalyst for accelerating UAS growth and adoption industry-wide.”

AESL functionality is the result of a NASA SBIR Grant awarded to BST, and an ongoing collaboration with Luxonis LLC, a Colorado-based technology company that specializes in embedded machine learning, artificial intelligence, and computer vision, from concept through custom hardware, firmware, software and UI/UX.

“This technology uses video or still imagery of the ground to determine what those objects are (Figure 1), and classifies them as humans, vehicles, and/or structures—things you have to avoid at all costs, even if it’s at the expense of the aircraft—to identify safe landing areas for a UAS in distress,” states Brandon Gilles, CEO, Luxonis LLC. “Leveraging machine vision and artificial intelligence, AESL enables a human-like perception of the world where autonomy doesn’t have to rely entirely on GPS, altimeters, or the like. This system can visually understand what’s around it and make decisions accordingly, in real-time.”

While AESL functionality can serve as a significant stepping stone towards obtaining FAA exemptions for safe beyond line of sight flights, what observers and users are describing as the most striking feature is the size of the components and their power requirements (which are quite low) for what’s actually doing this image capture/processing onboard the aircraft. 

“This is a very complex solution,” says Austin Anderson, Machine Learning Lead Engineer, Black Swift Technologies. “It is a robust, onboard data collection system with a very small footprint and low power requirement. It enables real-time data collection and the ability to review massive amounts of imagery that a human alone could not. Now users can gather this high level of intelligence without having to lug around a giant, power-hungry system.”

While AESL functionality is currently exclusive to BST’s purpose-built UAS platform, Elston notes that it doesn’t preclude pairing its technology with third-party systems.

“Our technology is intended to help enable a safer flight experience both for UAS operators and the general public,” Elston emphasizes. “All the data products that we’d be accessing are going to be common across any autopilot. We don’t want to give too much decision making data to the autopilot—just enough to know what to avoid and where to safely land.”

About Black Swift Technologies

Based in Boulder, CO and founded in 2011, Black Swift Technologies is recognized for delivering reliable, robust, and highly accurate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) capable of flying scientific payloads in demanding atmospheric environments (high-altitude, arctic, desert, corrosive particulates, and strong turbulence). Its purpose-built scientific aerial platforms are used around the globe for a variety of specialized atmospheric research missions in extreme conditions, including monitoring and assessing wildland fires, volcanoes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

With the goal of ubiquitous UAS usage through advanced capabilities, all Black Swift’s solutions leverage its acclaimed SwiftCore™ Flight Management System (FMS), an advanced end-to-end avionics solution enabling users to control, communicate, and command their UAS for fully autonomous flight. SwiftCore FMS provides industry leading sensor-based control of the UAS that minimizes operator workload while improving the quality of the observed data by autonomously modifying the flight path based on sensor inputs.

Engineered to meet the demands of nomadic scientific field campaigns in harsh environments, the entire SwiftCore system is designed for ease of use along with accurate flight tracking, even in high winds. The SwiftCore FMS has been approved and used for major scientific missions by NASA, deployments by NOAA, and by a growing list of commercial users including engineering and survey professionals, construction and mining managers, as well as environmental monitoring by scientific and academic organizations worldwide. SwiftCore FMS consists of the SwiftPilot™ autopilot system, the SwiftTab™ tablet-based user interface, the SwiftStation™ ground station, and application specific sensor integrations. 

Fully Customizable Solutions

SwiftCore and AESL functionality can be integrated into any UAS platform and customized to meet the specific demands of your missions. More information on Black Swift Technologies and their suite of sUAS solutions can be found at: bst.aero

About Luxonis LLC

Luxonis is a pioneer in the nascent field of embedded computer vision and artificial intelligence, founded on the following 3 pillars:

1.  Embedded Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence, over the next 10 years, will drive a wave of creative destruction that will leave no industry unchanged.  

2.  The capability to engineer at every level of the stack (hardware, firmware, software, and user interface) is critical to allow customers to ride this wave.

3.  A strive for continually-improving engineering efficiency is how we deliver material value to our customers and the world.

Picterra Lands $3.3 Million in New Funding to Help Further Democratize Geospatial Mapping

Picterra Lands $3.3 Million in New Funding to Help Further Democratize Geospatial Mapping 12
Founders. Left, CEO Pierrick Poulenas. Right, CTO Frank de Morsier

Lausanne, Switzerland – September 17, 2019 – Picterra, a geospatial software organization that enables users to extract satellite and drone imaging insights through a combination of artificial intelligence and human expertise, today announced $3.3 million in new funding that will help further democratize geospatial mapping data. The funding will go toward growing Picterra’s team and building upon its early successes, such as a community-built library of hundreds of deep learning models; reducing the training of deep learning models, and democratizing its geospatial mapping search engine.

Seed round investors include Space Capital, the world’s leading space investor; Omidyar Network, the impact investment firm established by Pam and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay; Atlantic Labs; and another European venture capital firm. 

“We are extremely pleased to have such a strong group of investors in this round,” said Pierrick Poulenas, CEO of Picterra. “Their expertise will be incredibly valuable as we roll out our disruptive approach to extract structured and valuable information from Earth Observation imagery.”

“Picterra’s technology is built upon the advent of artificial intelligence and the increasing availability of Earth Observation imagery,” said Chad Anderson, Managing Partner of Space Capital. “Picterra provides AI as a service for Earth Observation imagery, with the aim to put powerful deep learning models at users’ fingertips, and is a great compliment to our portfolio.”

Picterra’s platform is unique in that it’s driven by a community of users who pool their data and expertise to collectively create a continuously-improving library of deep learning algorithms. This approach gives everyone – not just data scientists and developers – the opportunity to analyze and draw real-time insights from satellite and aerial imagery, all in just a few clicks. And by enabling quicker and more accurate monitoring of the Earth’s surface, Picterra, its platform, and community of users further help geospatial technology address pressing issues, like climate change.

“For geospatial technology to reach its full potential in promoting social good and impact, it cannot stay in the hands of a few. That’s why organizations that democratize industry data and expertise, like Picterra, are so vital,” said Peter Rabley, venture partner at Omidyar Network. “We’re looking forward to seeing their community’s continued growth, further spurring geospatial innovation and advancements.” 

To learn more about Picterra, please visit their INTERGEO booth (Hall 1 Booth C1.006) or their website, picterra.ch.

About Picterra

Picterra SA was founded in 2016 by Frank de Morsier and Pierrick Poulenas in Lausanne, Switzerland. Picterra is an AI-based SaaS platform that allows to interactively create a personalized AI detecting, localizing and counting any objects from satellite and aerial imagery, all in just a few clicks. 

About Space Capital

Space Capital is a seed-stage venture capital fund led by the world’s leading space investor and operator. We invest in the final frontier of technology and growth and partner with pioneering founders to solve the hardest problems on Earth and beyond. More at: spacecapital.com

About Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by philanthropists Pam and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, the organization has committed more than $1 billion to innovative for-profit companies and non-profit organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com, and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork 

How Drones Can Improve Warehouse Efficiency

How Drones Can Improve Warehouse Efficiency 13

Guest Post by Emily Folk

Drones aren’t the sole purview of hobbyists and photographers anymore. They’re quickly proving their worth in nearly every industry, from construction to agriculture and everything in between. In some settings, drones can even improve warehouse efficiency. How are drones changing the logistics industry and improving efficiency across the board?

Improved Inventory Management

Inventory management is one of the most time-consuming parts of running a warehouse. For the most part, it also requires the assistance of a human worker. Instead of relying on humans manually scanning each piece of inventory in the facility, drones are beginning to take over this tedious and repetitive job. Drones are capable of scanning barcodes or RFID tags up to 50 times faster than their human counterparts, increasing efficiency and reducing the need for manual scanning.

Filling the Turnover Gap

While drones are starting to make their presence known in warehouses around the world, picking and packing orders is still a very human-centric activity. This is problematic when some facilities are experiencing up to a 40% turnover rate. Drones might not be able to pick and pack orders — yet — but they can improve inventory management and help companies fill that turnover gap. They won’t replace the need for human workers anytime soon but they can make life easier and keep things running smoothly while supervisors deal with employee turnover.

Drone-Assisted Navigation

Picking items from existing inventory is one of the least efficient parts of the job, especially for new workers who might not know the layout of the facility. If you’ve got drones that are linked to the facility’s warehouse management software (WMS), they can take the guesswork out of picking by creating the best and most efficient path from where the employee is to where the item is located in the warehouse. In some situations, these drones could even act as guide-dogs, leading the worker directly to the item they’re looking for. For warehouses with digital inventories, having a

Ideally, you will want to design your warehouse so that items that are sold frequently are placed strategically so workers can access them quickly but this isn’t always possible. Drones, tied into a WMS, could eliminate the need to restructure these facilities by providing quick and efficient maps that workers can follow.

Lower Chances of Workplace Injury

While drones are still largely in development, they have the potential to reduce the chances of workplace injury in warehouses. Many of the tasks within the warehouse are repetitive, and many may require workers to lift heavy items. Both of these situations can cause different types of injuries. Using drones to automate some of the processes reduces the chance of injury among human employees.

Even in facilities that don’t have drones capable of automation can use these devices to keep track of the goings-on in the warehouse to improve employees safety. In this case, drones become the supervisor’s eyes in the sky, making it easier to keep track of everything within the facility when employees might not be in the supervisor’s line of sight.

Looking Toward the Future

Drones are quickly becoming an invaluable tool for nearly every industry. In warehouses, they’re starting to take over many of the repetitive tasks like inventory management more efficiently than human workers could manage. They won’t replace human employees, but it will enable these facilities to work more efficiently and will allow humans to move to more important tasks.

We’ll likely see more drones appearing in warehouses around the world in the coming years, as the technology continues to advance. In the meantime, these devices will continue to improve inventory management and efficiency wherever they are employed.


Emily is a green tech writer who covers topics in renewable energy and sustainable design. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.

Knowledge and Action for Planet Earth

Knowledge and Action for Planet Earth 14

Stuttgart/Karlsruhe, 17 September 2019. Launch of INTERGEO EXPO and CONFERENCE. Digitalisation and technologies for treating Earth sustainably. Opening ceremony in the New Palace, Stuttgart, on the eve of the event. Three days of hi-tech and know-how for planet Earth.

For the next three days, everything in the exhibition halls in the hi-tech city of Stuttgart will be about gathering, processing and presenting information using and for the Earth. True to its motto of “Knowledge and action for planet Earth”, the 25th INTERGEO EXPO and CONFERENCE is more digital than ever, filled as it is with technologies, applications and know-how relating to geodesy, geoinformation and land management.

Challenges and solutions with geospatial technology

Prof. Hansjörg Kutterer, President of the German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management, which hosts INTERGEO EXPO and CONFERENCE, declared the event open yesterday evening at the traditional opening ceremony in the New Palace, Stuttgart. In his opening speech, he highlighted the social dimension of the geoinformation sector. “Knowledge and action for planet Earth – or better, for *our* Earth – is the guiding principle of our sector and profession. It is our particular skill and motivation, and at the same time our driving force and duty.” Plenty of people talk about sustainability and future-proofing, but at the INTERGEO EXPO and CONFERENCE, exhibitors and speakers showcase technologies and skills designed to meet the momentous challenges posed by the climate, environment, energy and mobility. “Knowledge and action for planet Earth” – the motto of INTERGEO has never been more relevant.

Huge potential for treating planet Earth with intelligent care

Driven by digitalisation, the market in the geoinformation sector is moving at incredible speed. Topics such as drones, building information modelling (BIM), smart cities and data and information platforms have huge potential for the geospatial industry and even more importantly for treating planet Earth with intelligent care. Areas of application include the energy industry, agriculture and forestry, urban and traffic planning, mobility, planning and construction, local authorities and administration, marketing and sales.

From global market leader to start-up

Christoph Hinte, from organiser Hinte Expo & Conference: “Boasting around 700 exhibitors from over 40 different countries, the EXPO is the sector’s biggest fair anywhere in the world. However, it does more than just showcase the dynamic pace of technological development – the many and varied applications on show also demonstrate to visitors from Germany and around the world exactly how technological innovations can be used to benefit people. The key drivers include both global market leaders and frequently innovative start-ups.”

Other events that form part of INTERGEO

The 67th German Cartography Conference will this year form part of the INTERGEO EXPO and CONFERENCE. This year’s slogan is “Playing with an open hand” and focuses on the skills of cartographers in how they use visual illustrations to present complex information in a compact way, preparing the ground for and communicating key decisions. “Since this often involves virtual and augmented reality methods, these make up a major part of our conference programme,” says Prof. Jochen Schiewe, who put the programme together.

Another part of INTERGEO this year is what used to be known as Geodetic Week and has now been rebranded as “Frontiers of Geodetic Science”. This new name turns the spotlight firmly on the event’s purpose of discussing science and practical applications that look far into the future.

INTERGEO, which consists of an EXPO and a CONFERENCE, is the world’s largest event for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. It is held every year at different venues in Germany. The CONFERENCE focuses on current issues from politics, administration, science and industry. INTERGEO’s continuing aim is to facilitate process optimisation in numerous target markets with the geo-IT potential it showcases. Its forthcoming venues are the internationally renowned exhibition cities of Stuttgart in 2019, Berlin in 2020 and Hannover in 2021.

DVW e.V. – German Society for Geodesy, Geoinformation and Land Management e.V. is the host of INTERGEO. HINTE Expo & Conference is responsible for the management of the EXPO. Further information about the EXPO and programme of the INTERGEO CONFERENCE, the leading international event for the geo-IT sector from 17 to 19 September 2019 in Stuttgart, is available at: www.intergeo.de.

Tickets for the conference and trade fair are available at www.intergeo.de/tickets

Master Class 3: Airspace integration – Safe integration of drones into airspace

Master Class 3: Airspace integration – Safe integration of drones into airspace 15

Stuttgart/Braunschweig/Karlsruhe, 10 September 2019: European airspace is densely populated. Especially in the vicinity of metropolitan regions, the lowest airspace, i.e. the airspace up to 500 feet (around 150 metres) above ground, is already being used intensively by model and sports pilots as well as by police and air rescue helicopters. Thousands of aircraft movements take place every day without the population having to perceive any problems. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) will be added in large numbers in order to exploit the enormous market potential, including in the transport of passengers and goods. Forecasts predict more than 200,000 UAS flying commercially in Europe from 2025 onwards. A conventional staggering of manned to unmanned aircraft by air traffic control and by “seeing” the pilots will then no longer be sufficient. Innovative solutions are in demand and are already entering the market. For the mass deployment of drones for the benefit of the population, the necessary infrastructure must be implemented in terms of urban planning and effective Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) must be created.

Airspace Integration is one of four Master Classes being staged at the second EUROPEAN DRONE SUMMIT (EDS), which is taking place on 18 and 19 September in Stuttgart as part of INTERGEO, the world’s leading trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management, and INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS, Europe’s biggest trade fair for drones.

This Master Class on 18.09.2019 at 05:30 p.m. deals with the elementary questions of a safe integration of drones into the airspace and with innovative solutions, which enable a coordinated and cooperative flight operation of manned and unmanned aviation in the lowest airspace. It provides answers on what unmanned traffic management has to achieve, what technical requirements have to be made of UAS and which new technologies have to be introduced.

In the Master Class Andreas Kühnen (cloudeo AG) and Dr. Andreas Lamprecht (AirMap Deutschland GmbH) discuss with Michael Gadd, Head of International Regulatory Affairs at Altitude Angel, among others, the provision and use of data for conflict-free drone flight operations. For example, the British company Altitude Angel, under the name “Operation Zenith”, subjected its “GuardianUTM” platform to a much-acclaimed practical test at Manchester Airport at the end of last year.

Christian S. Struwe, Head of Public Policy DJI Europe, is working with EASA and the European Commission to ensure that the European regulations allow a safe and fair market for the UAV industry in Europe. He represents DJI in various UTM associations and says: “UTM should include a whole range of technology-independent services designed to make more advanced and riskier drone operations easier by providing a way to register drones, issue flight permits in restricted areas, and identify drones from long distance.”

Marina Solin is Policy Director at GSMA, who represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. She will answer the question about the role the mobile industry will play in the safe integration of drones into airspace, especially with 5G technology. “Drones are an obvious candidate for connecting to mobile networks as they need a mobile connection in order to realize their impressive potential. Wireless connectivity will also be crucially important for the provision of key elements in unmanned traffic management, such as registration, identification, flight planning and approval, and much more besides,” Solin explains.

Mag. Philipp Piber heads the drone competence center of Austro Control GmbH, the Austrian Society for Civil Aviation. He reports on the status quo of the integration of drones into Austrian airspace.

Tomoyuki Hatori, Deputy Manager Air Traffic Management System at NTT Data Corporation, talks about a successful pilot project with an active anti-collision system in Japan.

J.D. Robert Keele, General Counsel at A³ by Airbus, will address the challenges of a regulatory framework that will enable the aviation of the future.

The Master Class offers all players, who depend on flight operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) for their missions, the unique opportunity to place their questions directly with the expert panel.

The three other Master Classes will look at the subjects of “Safety and security using UAS as well as counter drone systems”, “Vertical Mobility in Urban Areas” and “Services backed up by UAS – rescue services / humanitarian aid”.

The EUROPEAN DRONE SUMMIT is the European platform for discussing the current needs of the UAS industry, both for people with an interest in the industry and for long-standing aficionados. The international conference sees speakers from the fields of politics, legislation, research, industry and business examine strategies designed to support the efficient use of UAS. The aim is to provide vital impetus for gaining public acceptance and to pinpoint solutions for ensuring commercial unmanned aircraft systems are used safely, securely and effectively in the skies over Europe.

The EUROPEAN DRONE SUMMIT is organised by UAV DACH e.V., the leading trade association for commercial unmanned aircraft systems, and HINTE Expo & Conference.

Information, programme and registration at https://www.europeandronesummit.eu

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