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Drone Usage Increasing for Facilities Management

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Drone Usage Increasing for Facilities Management 1
An automated drone inspects a wind turbine blade for damage. Photo|SkySpecs

Guest Post by Emily Folk

Big improvements in drone tech over the past few years have made them cheaper, faster and more reliable than ever before. As a result, businesses are beginning to investigate how drones — which were previously limited to just being consumer tech — can be used in commercial settings.

Already, several companies have outfitted drones for specialized tasks — like helping to deliver packages, grow crops and assist with facility management and inspections.

Here are some of the advantages that drones can provide facility managers, and why so many supervisors are beginning to use them.

Speed and Safety

Drones provide two major advantages for facility management: They are often faster and safer than manual surveying.

Manual surveying is typically slow and costly. In some situations, especially after a natural disaster or equipment failure, surveying can also be dangerous for workers.

This is especially true when equipment is difficult to access by design. Workers may need specialized access equipment to inspect a roof, which drones typically do not require. As a result, people aren’t put at risk, equipment costs are lower and inspection can be wrapped up quicker. 

Drones can also further speed up inspections by instantly providing facility managers and supervisors with valuable survey data by using specialized sensors. Cameras can be used for basic visual analysis, infrared scanners can measure roof saturation and even miniature methane sensors can detect gas leaks. These drones can also be equipped with AI-powered image analysis software that can identify damaged areas where the structure may have been weakened. This would be difficult or impossible to spot with the naked eye.

The result is quicker response times. With drones, management staff can know sooner whether or not critical equipment is at risk or if an environment is safe for workers.

Remote Facility Inspection

Drones can also be deployed quickly if stored on-site. Often, the drone pilot doesn’t need to be there at all, meaning the entire supervising team can launch and finish an inspection without needing a single employee at the facility itself.

This makes drones useful in situations where facility managers need to rapidly launch an investigation while supervisors aren’t there — or if a building is particularly remote or large.

In Alaska, for example, drones are already being trialed by oil and gas companies that need 24/7 monitoring of pipelines in areas that are difficult to access and prone to severe weather. Despite needing more staff to pilot a drone, one company found that the speed and equipment costs of drone-based monitoring were cheaper and more efficient than traditional manned flights.

In certain cases, drones don’t even need a pilot to perform their investigation. Self-piloting drones are already being used to inspect individual turbines on wind farms, and doing so faster than any other inspection company in the industry. As a result, a wind farm that would have taken three days to inspect can now be fully examined in just one day.

Drones can also be effective on agricultural sites, especially those where equipment is spread out over many acres and manual inspection would require lots of travel time. Drones can also help provide location surveying in the design of complex sites like grain storage facilities, which have specific terrain and layout requirements.

Drones Make Facility Management Safer and Faster

Significant improvements in drone technology over the past few years have made them a great fit for certain commercial and industrial applications — including facility management. With drones, it’s possible to quickly and safely inspect equipment or infrastructure for damage or stress, sparing workers from dangerous or difficult working conditions. The result is money saved and a safer working environment.

Author Bio:

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.

South Dakota Signs Participating Addendum with DroneUp Providing Public Sector Agencies Access to Drone Services

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Virginia Beach, VA (January 7, 2020) — DroneUp, LLC and the State of South Dakota have signed a Participating Addendum for the NASPO ValuePoint contract for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle services established as the Contract Number 17379. This begins the offering for the purchase of complete drone solutions to all state agencies, commissions, political subdivisions, institutions, and local public bodies allowed by law. The award is the first of its kind for the drone industry and a highly anticipated announcement.

DroneUp, an end-to-end drone pilot service provider for aerial data collection, was awarded the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Services Master Agreement #E194-79435 by the Commonwealth of Virginia in August 2019. The services under the award are available for use by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of the United States through the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) ValuePoint Cooperative Purchasing Organization. The State of South Dakota is now able to use the award for the benefit of state departments, institutions, agencies, political subdivisions, and other eligible entities. For further information: https://www.naspovaluepoint.org/portfolio/unmanned-aerial-vehicle-drone-services-2019-2024/droneup-llc/

DroneUp’s award includes but is not limited to service categories for Emergency Support Services, Law Enforcement Support, Aerial Inspection or Mapping Data Services, Agricultural and Gaming, and Agency Media Relations and Marketing. It’s anticipated that the primary users will be Agriculture & Game Management, Emergency Management, Transportation, Forestry, Mines, Minerals and Energy, and Public Universities and Community Colleges. 

Tom Walker, DroneUp’s CEO, stated “South Dakota allows businesses to thrive through education and innovation. DroneUp looks forward to supporting our hardworking state and local agencies both in South Dakota and nationwide.”

Unveiled at CES2020, CHASING M2 Targets Light-Duty Business Market

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Las Vegas, USA – At CES2020, the International Consumer Electronics Show underway in Las Vegas, USA, Shenzhen-based underwater drone company CHASING presented its latest model, the CHASING M2. CHASING’s brand-new M2 is the world’s first professional observation underwater ROV with 8 vectored thrusters, and is designed for light-duty professional and enterprise use. “The launch of CHASING M2 marks the entry of CHASING into the professional market,” said co-founder and CMO Jacky Yang.

The M2 comes equipped with a digitally stabilized camera capable of 4K video and 12-megapixel stills, and LED lights rated at 4000 lumen. Together, they can capture any underwater details, making the M2 the perfect tool for scientific research, fish farming, and inspections of anything from boat hulls to reservoir dams. It can dive up to depths of 100 meters.

A world-first omnidirectional layout of 8 vectored thrusters allows the user to steer the M2 in all six directions, as well as rotate and pitch the ROV. An improved depth-lock mode allows for incredibly stable control.

Additional GoPro cameras can be mounted on the M2’s front and rear, as well as extra lights. It can also support an array of sensors, such as laser-based measuring equipment to determine the size of underwater objects, measure cracks, or monitor the growth of fish. Whatever the task, the M2’s impressive payload capacity guarantees a stable dive.

The M2 is the first professional observation ROV to feature a swappable battery and removable MicroSD Memory Card — meaning no more wasted time charging the ROV or downloading its data. Despite the design challenges posed by such features, the M2 is fully waterproof up to depths of 100 meters thanks to proprietary sealing technologies by CHASING.

Aluminium alloy is used for the M2’s compact body, keeping its weight below just 5 kilograms. Impressively light and small, the ROV can be carried by a single person and even taken on airplanes, allowing it to be used anywhere.

With its ease of use and compact dimensions, CHASING co-founder and CMO Jacky Yang believes the M2 is a cost-effective tool that will unlock a previously unserved market: “Current radio-operated submersibles for the professional market are often too big, heavy, and expensive for many governments, companies, and organizations. As a result, fish farming, hull inspection, reservoir dam inspection, rescue operations, and other applications are currently ignored by the market. Just 10% of the global market is being served, with a segment worth some 60 to 80 billion yuan currently sitting undeveloped.”

CHASING has also developed a new professional-grade remote controller and an E-Reel electronic winder that make the M2 convenient to operate, quick to deploy, and easy to retrieve. The battery-powered E-Reel can automatically roll up or unroll its 200-meter-long cable in just 2 minutes, up to 12 times per charge. It comes equipped with an anti-explosion cable, battery protection technologies, and a power display, and can also be used with other CHASING underwater drones, including the consumer-grade GLADIUS MINI.

About CHASING
CHASING is a leading underwater drone company with sales to more than 40 countries and regions. With industry-leading underwater drone research and development and integrated manufacturing technologies, CHASING is redefining underwater exploration. The company is headquartered in Shenzhen, China with established offices or subsidiaries in Beijing, Chengdu, Kunming and Seattle, USA. Its previous generation product GLADIUS MINI won the prestigious Red Dot Design Product 2019 award.

Red Cat to Acquire Rotor Riot

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SANTURCE, Puerto Rico, Jan. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Red Cat Holdings, Inc. (OTC: RCAT), a leading provider of distributed data storage, analytics and services for the drone industry, today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Rotor Riot in a stock and cash transaction. The companies expect the deal to close in mid-January.

“We believe this deal is another significant milestone in our strategy to fuel rapid growth,” said Jeff Thompson, CEO of Red Cat. “Rotor Riot is not only a leading provider of FPV and drone racing hardware, but the company is also a trusted resource and deeply embedded in the global FPV community. Combining our companies will further align our SaaS platform and data capabilities with cutting edge hardware available today, and provide a solid foundation for us to develop and engineer new and exciting technologies for both the drone hobby lifestyle and commercial industry.”

Rotor Riot’s revenue grew approximately 44% year-over-year from 2018 to 2019 to approximately $2.6 million. This transaction will provide the resources and combined expertise to drive further growth for both companies. Red Cat will continue to build and accelerate its drone black box and SaaS business and utilize its existing data analytics platform to develop a robust customer support system for Rotor Riot. As part of the deal, Chad Kapper will continue as Rotor Riot’s CEO.

“We have unwavering confidence in the Rotor Riot team to continue building their brand, loyal community, and market-leading products under the steadfast leadership of Chad Kapper and Drew Camden,” added Thompson.

“Rotor Riot was started from the ground up to be a premier source for FPV freestyle drone content and products for the hobby and sport,” said Chad Kapper, CEO of Rotor Riot. “We’ve built a large online subscriber base and our goal is to continue to educate, entertain and inspire the FPV community.”

“As an FPV pilot myself, getting to see Rotor Riot into this next phase is exhilarating. Our dream is to bring FPV drone sports to the mainstream by inspiring people to embrace this hobby and help them overcome the barriers to entry. It’s exciting to partner with Red Cat because they share this vision and their resources will help us double down on our efforts,” said Drew Camden, President of Rotor Riot.

In 2019, DJI, the market leader in easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems, made a significant entry into the FPV space with a new system that is helping more people than ever get into hobby. Rotor Riot worked closely with DJI to create content that demonstrates the new system’s capabilities and both companies plan to further support each other moving forward.

Following this partnership with DJI, Rotor Riot saw record sales during Q4 2019. Rotor Riot also furthered its expansion into the mainstream consumer retail market with its wired video game and drone controller now also available in the Apple Store and Best Buy.

On the professional FPV racing front, Rotor Riot Team Pilot Alex Vanover won the Drone Racing League World Championships on December 29th, 2019. Alex is the youngest pilot in DRL at age 19, with MultiGP National Championships to his name. The Rotor Riot gear and set up that Vanover uses can be found here: https://rotorriot.com/collections/captain-vanovers-setup.

About Red Cat
Red Cat (OTC: RCAT) is a leading provider of secure blockchain-based distributed storage, analytics and SaaS for the drone industry. Through its innovative products and leadership, Red Cat provides solutions for regulators to track and review flight data, insurance companies to insure drones, and pilots to become compliant with regulations. Red Cat’s success is driven by a commitment to deliver unrivaled innovation that makes drones trackable, accountable and the sky a safer place. Red Cat is headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more information, visit www.redcatpropware.com.

10 Amazing Things Your Drone Can Do For You

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Guest Post by Shane Haumpton

Technology has been evolving at an accelerated rate. This has birthed a long list of inventions and advancements, and among them are commercial drones. After drones were made available to the masses, people have found multiple uses for the buzzing sky-racer. 

From aerial photography and videography to drone racing and site inspection, these miniature flying machines have been proliferating in different fields, providing new approaches to traditional practices. In this article, we’ll be talking about 10 amazing things that your drone can do for you, whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist. 

1. Aerial Photography/videography

Drone photography and videography are the most common uses of drones these days. Professionals are no longer bound to the ground resulting in more creative shots and inspiring compositions. 

Pre-nuptial shoots, sporting events, local festivals, and a host of other scenarios open up once you get your hand on a drone. Keep in mind, however, that you need to master the drone before you even think of using it professionally. And always be mindful of the law surrounding this practice. 

2. Agriculture

Drones are increasingly gaining more popularity in the agricultural sector thanks to the efficiency it offers. There are several things that drones can accomplish for farmers. Scouting crops and land areas are among the most common. Farmers no longer need to do manual checking of their massive land area, which would take time and resources. 

Nowadays, they can simply fire up a drone to inspect a specific location and acquire the necessary data needed for a particular task. Drones are even used for seed planting where farmers shoot seed pods in prepared soil, although the practice has yet to gain significant traction due to early adoption. 

3. Drone Racing

Drone racing is an emerging sport where teams compete to prove who’s the best pilot in a particular course. Millions of dollars have been poured into this nascent industry, with teams coming in from various corners of the globe. 

Almost all races are done through a dazzling, albeit dizzying, first-person view. Depending on the competition, drone racing can be done indoors or outdoors, both of which offer unique challenges of their own. 

If you’re interested in becoming a professional drone racing pilot, you need to have cat-like reflexes, an extremely calm demeanor, and a thirst for speed. Also, the drones used in races are different than those used by photographers as the latter is significantly slower than their zipping relatives. 

4. Site Inspection

In the same vein that farmers can monitor their land area, drones can also be used to inspect sites, particularly dangerous ones where manual monitoring can be near impossible. Whether it’s the terrain or a chemical hazard, drones eliminate the need for crew members to risk their necks to gather data from a certain location. 

Also, drones that are used for site inspection are different from the ones used for racing and photography. So if you’re planning to use drones for this particular task, you’ll need those that are octocopters or hexacopters as they’re more stable and can keep flying even if one of the rotors is damaged.  

5. 3D Mapping

Drones are now being used to create 3D mapping of statues and buildings through a process called photogrammetry. Although this area is still in its infancy phase, it’s growing at an exponential rate thanks to the efficiency and affordability of drone technology. 

To create maps, a camera is mounted on the drone vertically and is pointed toward the ground. For monuments and skyscrapers, the camera is mounted horizontally. Multiple photos are then taken by the drone that is moving through a programmed flight path known as a waypoint. As a result of this application, professionals can plan and measure projects more accurately, reducing costs and increasing productivity. 

6. Action Drone

People in the sports action scene are using drones to capture incredible footage in the air. Snowboarding, kayaking, off-roading, and surfing are just some of the many examples out there. 

Thanks to the sophisticated drone software, action sports enthusiasts can command the aerial vehicle to follow them around without the need for controls. This opens up massive possibilities for creative videos and compositions while giving the athlete free rein to perform their respective practices.  

7. Advertising 

Businesses have also taken advantage of a drone’s flight capabilities by attaching flyers on them. These are then sent to high-traffic areas in an attempt to sell a product or a service. 

For instance, restaurants in cities will attach their menu on a drone and fly them out to attract more customers. In event gatherings, drones are used to hold banners of companies to emphasize presence and involvement. 

8. Parcel Delivery

Companies, big and small, are now using drones to deliver online orders. Parcels, pizzas, medicine – basically anything that a drone can carry has the potential to be delivered through this channel. 

Retail and technological juggernauts have already poured millions in research and development about this application, with Google, Amazon, Walmart, and UPS leading the charge. Again, this is still in its early stages but results are already promising enough that Amazon has launched trials to gather more data and improve services. 

9. Disaster Response

Drones are proving to be quite the tool to alleviate the damages done by natural disasters. Governments and private humanitarian aids can use drones to deliver food and medicine to areas that are inaccessible due to flooding or other road obstructions.

It can even help prevent disasters altogether. For instance, drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras can be deployed to identify areas that are prone to forest fires. Abnormal temperatures in certain locations can alert teams to take proactive measures and struck down a forest fire before it can even spark.

10. Conservation 

Professionals operating in wildlife and environmental conservation are now using drones as research companions. One prime example of this application is using aerial photography to monitor nesting grounds of animals without disturbing their habitat.

Researchers can collect data and monitor animal behavior more accurately than ever. They can take photos of heritage sites or gather information on dangerous locations like the disaster site in Chernobyl. In crimes related to this field, professionals are using drones to apprehend poachers with increasing efficiency.

Drones have long held a negative reputation for their use in warfare, but these varied and useful applications have altered this perception. Commercial drones are now being used in a wide range of industries fulfilling a wide range of uses.  

Drone-Like Selfies with the Insta360 One X

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Guest post by George Suresh

Like many other professional content creators out there I never really took 360 cameras very seriously. However it was only after I’d tested the Insta360 One X camera myself, I’d not only realised that I’d become a fan of 360 but its turned out to be of the most exciting pieces of camera tech I’ve ever used. 

The clever team at Insta360 have not only managed to address previous concerns I had about 360 media, they have produced a camera that has a user-experience which is remarkably similar to what Apple and DJI have accomplished with their products. I believe they’ve achieved this by nailing exactly what consumers have demanded in this market space and their success isn’t just evident through just their popularity; they are shaping the industry by creating exciting new opportunities for content creators.

I found that the camera has so much to explore with both its photo and video capabilities that I couldn’t justify showcasing all its potential in just ‘one’ article. Whilst this feature portrays some uniquely inspiring ways to take selfies with the Insta360 One X and its invisible selfie stick; I am planning a follow up article here to exhibit some of its mind-blowing video and action camera features. So stay tuned!

Insta360 One X & Editing

The Insta360 One X is so simple to use that you can start taking 360 media with just the press of a few buttons. Media can be wirelessly transferred to your smartphone via the Insta360 One X app for IOS or Android. If you don’t want to save or upload your media in 360 formats, you have the option to choose a traditional format such as 16:9, 4:3, 1:1 or 9:16. The built-in software automatically stitches the seams created by both lenses and you begin to edit your 360 media by framing it ‘after the fact’ – (after shooting).

Once you get familiar with the app and its fundamentals, editing 360 media becomes a breeze and somewhat addictive too.  They freely provide an easy-to-use PC editing software called Insta360 Studio which I found to be a welcomed added bonus.

Similarly to how YouTube came to scene several years back, there are now a growing number of 360 platforms which cater for 360 media and they’re beginning to skyrocket in demand due to the affordability and simplicity of cameras like the Insta360 One X.

Accessories

It was the invisible selfie stick, 6 axis stabilization and seamless stitching which had me genuinely intrigued into exploring this camera.

However, the camera has a long list of features and more accessories than of any other camera in its class, therefore I strongly recommended visiting their website at www.insta360.com to get full a full appreciation of just how many accessories and ways this camera can be utilized.

Simplicity

All selfies below were:

  • Captured in about 3 to 5 seconds in HDR mode. 
  • Taken by attaching the Insta360 One X to the invisible selfie stick or extended (3m) selfie stick. 
  • Taken with the GPS Smart Remote which was held in my left hand.

Tips

  • To save time forget your phone to begin with; take your pictures first and edit later.
  • Use HDR mode for still photos; the camera’s dynamic range is remarkably impressive.
  • To reduce noise, use mainly in brightly lit areas or outdoors.

Inspiration

  • Shanil Kawol – YouTube & Instagram
  • Ben Claremont – YouTube & Instagram
  • Inta360 One X Tutorials – Free from Insta360 One X App
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Above: Sydney Opera House and Harbour – taken with Insta360 One X & Extended Selfie Stick

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Above: Vaucluse, NSW – taken with Insta360 One X & Extended Selfie Stick

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Above: Yandhai Crossing, NSW – taken with Insta360 One X & Extended Selfie Stick

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Above: Sydney Olympic Park, NSW – taken with Insta360 One X & Invisible Selfie Stick

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Above: Chang Lai Yuan Chinese Gardens, NSW – taken with Insta360 One X & Invisible Selfie Stick

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Above: Yandhai Crossing, NSW – taken with Insta360 One X & Invisible Selfie Stick

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Above: Sydney Olympic Park, NSW – taken with Insta360 One X & Extended Selfie Stick

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Above: Darling Harbour, NSW – taken with Insta360 One X & Extended Selfie Stick

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Above: Linfield, NSW – taken with Insta360 One X & Invisible Selfie Stick

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Above: Parramatta River, NSW – taken with Insta360 One X & Extended Selfie Stick

Connecticut Signs Participating Addendum with DroneUp Providing Public Sector Agencies Access to Drone Services

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Virginia Beach, VA (December 17, 2019) — DroneUp, LLC signed a Participating Addendum with the State of Connecticut established as the Procurement Division Contract #19PSX0049. This begins the offering for the purchase of complete drone solutions to all state agencies, political subdivisions, and institutions in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. §4a-54. The award is the first of its kind for the drone industry and a highly anticipated announcement.

“We are eager to provide new drone technology services to our state, and we are excited that our local drone pilot operators will have the opportunity to provide these services,” said Greg Mooney, Contract Specialist with the State of Connecticut.

DroneUp, an end-to-end drone pilot service provider for aerial data collection was awarded the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Services Master Agreement # E194-79435 by the Commonwealth of Virginia in August 2019. The Master Agreement provides UAS (drone) services to all state agencies, institutions of higher education, and other public bodies and entities. 

The services under the award are available for use by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of the United States through the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) ValuePoint Cooperative Purchasing Organization. The State of Connecticut will be able to use the award for the benefit of state departments, institutions, agencies, political subdivisions, and other eligible entities. For further information please see biznet.ct.gov.

DroneUp’s award includes but is not limited to service categories for Emergency Services, Law Enforcement Support, Aerial Inspection or Mapping Data Services, Agricultural and Gaming, and Agency Media Relations and Marketing. It’s anticipated that the primary users will be the Departments of Aviation, Emergency Management, Transportation, Forestry, Mines, Minerals and Energy, and all Public Universities and Community Colleges. 

Tom Walker, DroneUp’s CEO, stated “We appreciate the efforts to streamline public sector access to leading-edge UAS services through this award. We look forward to supporting our hardworking state and local agencies both in Connecticut and nationwide.”

About DroneUp
DroneUp provides end-to-end aerial data collection services to commercial industries and public sector organizations, leveraging our patent-pending platform, Mission Match™️. DroneUp is located in 50 states with over 10,000 certified drone pilots. DroneUp is SWaM (Small, Woman-owned, and Minority-owned Business) certified as a small business by the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information: droneup.com.

Momentum gathers ahead of the inaugural Geo Connect Asia 2020

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Trimble on show at the Digital Construction Conference in Jakarta in November 2019.

Singapore, 11 December 2019 – The global geospatial market is estimated to be worth US$134 billion by 2025, with the Asia-Pacific region in particular expected to post the highest growth rates. This growth will be driven by the anticipated high demand for geospatial technologies as governments in the ASEAN region continue to invest in new infrastructure and other ‘smart’ initiatives, such as the ASEAN Smart Cities Initiative.

In Singapore alone, the nascent geospatial industry is currently valued at about S$500 million and geospatial adoption has become an important and critical component in the development and evolution of ASEAN’s infrastructure and industry. Indeed, geospatial investment will be essential to achieve the promises of the 4th industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. To this end, global events company Montgomery Asia has launched Geo Connect Asia 2020, Southeast Asia’s first geospatial technologies and location intelligence solutions event to support and bring together the rapidly growing ASEAN geospatial industry in March next year.

With just three months to go before this landmark event, Montgomery Asia is excited to announce the first wave of exhibitors and speakers who will be showcasing their latest innovations and sharing their deep insights at the conference and exhibition to be held at the Suntec Convention Centre. Leading geospatial data expert Ng Siau Yong, Chief Data Officer at the Singapore Land Authority, will be a moderator at the conference, bringing valuable expertise on geospatial information governance, infrastructure and technology development, capacity building, and the use of geospatial systems in data analytics.

“The accelerating growth of the geospatial industry has mirrored the rising prominence and adoption of big data, augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and 3D technologies,” said Rupert Owen, Event Director, Montgomery Asia. “Amid growing investment in these technologies, the geospatial industry has emerged as a new space with immense potential, especially in the developing ASEAN market,” he added.

Exhibitors

Geo Connect Asia 2020 will boast some of the world’s biggest players in geospatial technology and location intelligence solutions. Industry leaders already confirmed for the event include Trimble as Platinum Sponsor, Vexcel Imaging GmbH and Orbital Insight. Some of the novel technologies on show at GeoConnect Asia 2020 will include AR/VR, Digital Terrain Analysis, Earth Observation & Satellite, Instrumentation & Automation, LiDAR, Photogrammetry & Remote Surveys, Remote Sensing, Topographic Surveys, and many more. John Whitehead, APAC Director of Sales and Distribution of leading geospatial technology company Trimble said, “Geo Connect Asia 2020 is coming at the right moment for the fast developing Southeast Asia region and there is a tremendous need for the benefits Asia’s geospatial and location intelligence industry can bring. Governments and companies are recognizing this and we are delighted to be a part of this event.”

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Orbital Insight’s technology translates raw optical and radar satellite data along with millions of GPS signals into actionable intelligence.

Conference

Speaking at the conference, seminars, and plenary sessions will be a number of government officials and business leaders from the geospatial industry, including keynote speaker Dr James Crawford, CEO of California-based geospatial analytics giant Orbital Insight. Offering his insight on the growing importance of geospatial technology across business and government, Dr Crawford said, “Today it is ever more imperative to help the world understand what is happening on and to the Earth, with the increase in natural disasters, supply chain and manufacturing disruptions, national security threats and shifts in populations and construction demands. All industries and government can improve their decision-making process using real-time and multi-source geospatial data.”

Community

To help bring together the growing industry and build bridges between ASEAN’s diverse markets, GeoConnect Asia 2020 has also appointed a group of captains of industry as its distinguished ambassadors. The prestigious roster of experts include Ng Siau Yong, Director of the GeoSpatial and Data Division and Chief Data Officer of the Singapore Land Authority, Lanita Idrus (Publisher, Asia Miner), Dan Schirren (Head of Business Development, Ordnance Survey), John Whitehead (Director of Sales and Distribution APAC, Geospatial Division, Trimble) and Jan Schoderer (Sales Director APAC, Vexcel Imaging GmbH).

“As we usher in the second decade of the millennium, decision-making in government and industry will involve increasing levels of sophistication in order to address the challenges of a growing population amid resource scarcity and other environmental challenges,” said Rupert Owen. “Geo Connect Asia 2020 aims to provide a platform and springboard for government and industry leaders to come together to address the increasingly salient issues of tomorrow.”

The highly anticipated Geo Connect Asia 2020 will be held at Suntec Singapore on 18-19 March 2020, and is set to draw over 2000 professional visitors from the region and beyond. Comprising a B2B exhibit, strategic conference, and technical seminars, GeoConnect Asia 2020 will provide a one-stop-shop for exhibitors and visitors alike. More than 60 international exhibitors from Australia, Asia, Europe and North America are expected to be in attendance.

Themed ‘Global Solutions for Asia’s Geospatial and Location Intelligence Markets’, the exhibition provides a global stage for the industry’s pioneers to demonstrate the untold potential of these technologies. The conference will encompass various industry verticals such as asset management, building & construction, precision agriculture, forestry, mining, transportation & mobility, distribution & logistics, and smart cities. Themed ‘Mapping the Data-driven Future Economy’, the content will be thought leadership-focused with data, AI and the latest technologies at the forefront of discussions.

GeoConnect Asia 2020 will be held on the 18th and 19th of March 2020 at Suntec Singapore. Exhibitors may register their interest to exhibit here, and visitors may register here.

About GeoConnect Asia 2020

The first exhibition-led geospatial and location intelligence event with a specific focus on Southeast Asia, Geo Connect Asia 2020 will bring the industry together for 2 days of focused discussion and networking on 18-19 March 2020 at Suntec Singapore. The inaugural event will comprise an exhibition as well as a series of conferences and seminars across various industry verticals such as asset management, building & construction, precision agriculture, forestry, mining, transportation & mobility, distribution & logistics, and smart cities.

Geo Connect Asia 2020 is supported by GeoWorks, an industry centre set up by the Singapore Land Authority, under the Singapore Geospatial Master Plan to bring together geospatial businesses, sectoral users, research institutions and the government to foster a vibrant geospatial ecosystem in Singapore.

About Montgomery Asia

Established in 2016, Montgomery Asia is a fully-owned subsidiary of UK-based Montgomery Group, one of the most widely respected exhibition companies in the world since 1895.

Montgomery Asia focuses on the growing Asian market, bringing the group’s flagship events to this region as well as developing new trade shows that meet the needs of the Asian market.

How Machine Learning Impacts Drone Technology

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Image source: Above

Guest Post by Emily Folk

Without question, drones took the consumer market by storm. They’re every retired engineer and curious child’s favorite plaything. However, the impact of drones on the commercial landscape is only starting to unfold. From infrastructure inspection, site surveying and home delivery to agricultural and manufacturing implications, drones are a rich source of productivity and data.

Machine learning will take existing drones to even greater heights. They’re already extremely useful tools for observing our surroundings, but machine learning means that drones can, in addition to just looking at their environment, perceive and interpret their surroundings. Here are three major ways it’s already enabling change.

1. Improving Pattern Recognition for Automated Inspections

Physical structures like bridges and wind turbines are complex and imposing. Until now, it took large teams of highly trained engineers inspecting each part and installation to keep national infrastructure in good repair. But higher costs and improper political prioritization have delivered an increasingly poor return on our public investments.

Machine learning gives drones pattern recognition abilities. With programming and the right cameras and sensor equipment, they can safely, efficiently and even automatically provide ongoing and detailed inspections for large construction and infrastructure projects.

On a small scale, technology like this provides trained models that can be used to find product defects and appraise uniformity much more quickly and accurately while lifting existing QA workers into more cognitively demanding and higher-paying jobs. This development often comes without companies dropping any employees in the bargain. The same technological fundamentals easily scale to the size of tackling a nation’s infrastructure shortfall.

2. Optimizing and Planning Construction Site Activities

Construction site managers know only too well that they can’t have eyes everywhere at once. And yet, there are dozens of labor-intensive and often risky activities happening everywhere onsite, from pouring foundations to raising walls and re-contouring the land.

Automated or remote-piloted aerial drones are set to have a huge impact in environments like these. Using machine learning and trained models, construction drones could keep an eye on all of a construction site’s goings-on. They’ll be able to “understand” how the site changes daily and over the course of the project, deliver cost and timeline projections and help optimize the order and manner in which tasks are completed.

According to McKinsey’s “Imagining Construction’s Digital Future,” the nations of the world must collectively spend some $57 trillion on their infrastructure by the year 2030 to keep pace with worldwide GDP growth. The same report predicts that advanced surveying, geolocation and other technologies paired with drones will “dramatically improve [the] accuracy and speed” of these many necessary construction projects.

As drones take on more of the roles that construction site managers typically shoulder, it’s fair to expect that we’ll see a similar presence for drones in urban planning. Deploying drones to intelligently study vehicle and pedestrian patterns and make layout and traffic flow recommendations is almost certainly just around the corner.

3. Predicting and Interdicting Poaching and Other Crimes

Some cities in the U.S. have already banned, or are considering banning, facial recognition and other technologies from being used by the law enforcement community. According to activists, similar federal-level rules should be considered. However, advanced technologies have a lot to offer when it comes to predicting criminal behavior — at least in select circumstances.

As a prime example, the Lindbergh Foundation and a drone technology company called Neurala have an ongoing partnership to fight elephant poaching in Africa. Neurala claims that its software, which is powered by machine learning, can process in 20 minutes the same amount of surveillance footage that would take days or hours with previous-generation technology.

In the fight against poaching, the implication is that these “air shepherds” can automatically patrol vast amounts of natural landscape with very little guidance and recognize poaching activities before the trouble elements can reach wildlife refuges. And even when there aren’t any criminals in the picture, this level of intelligence is useful for finding and predicting the movements of protected animal populations or those with research potential.

Machine Learning and Drones: A Consequential Matchup

This is just a brief look at some of the ways machine learning is making commercial drones more useful, more observant, more productive and even more proactive. In time, we can expect that both drones and machine learning will have a presence in just about every corner of the public and private sphere, delivering even more impressive results as the technology advances.

Author Bio:

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.

FlytWare Autonomous Drone Inventory Scan Solution Deployed At European Air Cargo Company

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FlytWare Autonomous Drone Inventory Scan Solution Deployed At European Air Cargo Company 12

California, USA, December 11, 2019 — Air cargo facilities are undergoing rapid digital transformation via the adoption of automation technologies. – the most recent one being fully autonomous drones. At the leading edge of this innovation in inventory management is IAG Cargo, part of the same group that owns British Airways. With a vision to fully automate inventory counts at its air cargo facilities, IAG Cargo has been working closely with FlytBase on aerial inventory scans at its Madrid facility.

Inventory counting, while a critical business activity, consumes thousands of man-hours each year across IAG Cargo’s hubs in the UK, Spain, and Ireland. Increasing the frequency of such counts, a necessity in the age of global e-commerce and same-day delivery, is important – but impractical if done manually. Drones, however, can make this a reality – thanks to cost-effective hardware, intelligent automation software, and continuing advances in indoor autonomous navigation using machine vision and AI/ML techniques – all packaged in the form of FlytWare, an autonomous aerial inventory scanning solution from FlytBase.

FlytBase’s engagement with IAG Cargo involved stakeholders from innovation, continuous improvement, warehouse operations, inventory management, digital transformation, and business analysis. After prioritizing the key requirements for aerial inventory counts, FlytWare was trialed and tested carefully by running dozens and dozens of indoor drone flights – the barcodes thus scanned were automatically mapped to their locations; making available the ‘ground truth’ data that could then be filtered for empty slots, compared with WMS data and analyzed for location accuracy. 

Having thus been tested at IAG Cargo via proof-of-concept trials, and further refined during the pilot project, FlytWare is now being readied for production deployments at multiple IAG Cargo facilities. The reality of inventory management is that each warehouse, distribution center, and air cargo facility is unique in terms of storage configurations, key operating metrics, cycle count frequency, etc. Scanning one-deep, front-facing bar codes on full pallets is obviously much simpler than counting case reserve in VNAs, scanning pallets stored in bulk areas or enabling automatic ‘first counts’ of multi-deep pallet/case reserve that are then followed by manual ‘second counts’. 

Nitin Gupta, CEO, FlytBase, explained: “Flytware’s trials at IAG Cargo have been successful in uncovering the significant opportunities and key challenges of deploying fully autonomous drones for inventory counts in warehouse rack storage. Not only can aerial inventory scans provide cost-effective and high frequency cycle counts, but they can also measurably impact productivity and support regulatory audits. The availability of live video feeds and location-wise image data, coupled with capabilities such as precision landing and WMS integration make FlytWare a highly compelling alternative to not only manual counts, but also RFID, AGVs and other methods that remain expensive and difficult to scale. Needless to say, we look forward to deploying FlytWare across IAG Cargo, a leading advocate for aerial inventory counts.”

The trials of FlytWare at IAG Cargo’s Madrid warehouse have also reinforced the importance of user-friendly operator dashboards, auditable inventory data and live video feeds. These underpin the intangible benefits of drone-based barcode scans – in addition to the time, cost & safety benefits versus manual counts. In fact, from a safety perspective, the ability to detect and avoid obstacles during autonomous flights turned out to be a key success factor for adopting FlytWare – even though the SOPs may require that the aisles be closed off during drone flights.

In an age of high-velocity supply chains and consumer expectation w.r.t. instant delivery, automation is becoming the silver bullet for inventory stakeholders at air cargo facilities – with fully autonomous drones expected to play a central role.

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