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Performing inspections is a regular part of many industries. The results of an inspection can determine the direction of a project and prevent possible losses on investments. Inspections save people money and protect us and our property. The inspector visits a site or uses tools to collect data to ensure that a project is going according to plan and meets its necessary requirements. However, inspection comes with an element of risk and inaccuracy. The inspector puts himself in some level of danger to gather the data they need, or they rely on tools or equipment for hard to reach places. This is why industries have been integrating drones into their inspections.
Drones being used for inspections come with a host of benefits. They are an up and coming solution to the obstacles traditional inspectors face. For example, many people have experienced the need for a roof inspection, but performing one comes with risks. To properly inspect a roof, the inspector needs a good view. This usually requires that they observe the roof from the ground with binoculars or climb onto the roof and inspect it up close and personal. The former option leaves greater room for error, and the latter option poses a safety risk and could lead to possible damage to the roof in question, which would be counterproductive.
In contrast, drones reduce the risks involved in performing inspections while also improving their accuracy and efficiency. A person could invest in their own drone and become a certified pilot. The pilot simply has to fly a drone over the structure or work site and use its camera or sensors to collect data, while they remain safely on the ground. Flying a drone is safer than walking directly on a roof or climbing a ladder and more accurate than looking through binoculars. This goes for any industry like construction and city planning where similar inspections are a necessity. In 2016, Liberty Mutual started using drones for property claims to avoid "any unnecessary risk of injury to adjusters, contractors, and inspectors." They also affirmed that using drones was safer than sending someone up a ladder to inspect rooftop damage and speeds up the inspection process.
Additionally, a person could hire a service that specializes in performing inspections. There are many companies that offer drone inspections as a service. Industrial Skyworks does industrial asset inspections and data acquisition. They also process the data to create 2D and 3D images. Measure offers aerial inspections and one of their projects involves using the data they collect from aerial inspections to increase the productivity of solar plants. Asset Drones is a company that has a fleet of drones equipped with cameras and sensors. Cyberhawk is a visual asset management company that performs aerial inspections and surveys using UAVs.
With their maneuverability, drones can fly places humans need special tools and equipment to reach. Aerial shots of a house can show potential buyers or investors a more accurate picture of properties that are up for sale. This can reveal possible structural problems before construction is complete, which could save money in rebuilding. Also, with drone mapping software, a pilot can make 3D models of a work site. When compared to other tools, drones are capable of capturing information in higher detail. Therefore, resulting in the collection of more accurate data that's easily shareable.
In summary, this is just one of the many ways drones can be an asset to various industries. By providing higher quality data with increased efficiency, past methods of inspections are becoming outdated. Drones can be equipped with powerful cameras, advanced sensors and infrared technology. They can inspect difficult to reach areas or areas that pose health and safety risks, saving your time, money and risk from unnecessary danger.
I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron