When drones first came out, there was great excitement with the possibilities for drone use in all types of inspections. Make sense sending a drone to inspect instead of the high cost and risk of human inspections. However, manual drones have not replaced traditional inspection methods. But, autonomous drones are proving to be a game changer.
Why Drones for inspections
Consider infrastructure inspectors, some of the most skilled professionals in the world. They put themselves in harms way inspecting nuclear power plants, bridges, power lines and towers, cell towers, climbing wind turbine generators and more. These inspections have great risk and huge costs. Drones provide this service at a fraction of the cost.
Autonomous Drones are Changing the Game
With the shortcomings of manual drones, the drone space is becoming full of solutions claiming to provide autonomy. True autonomy requires a drone to see, understand, predict and act in its environment which means all these factors must apply for a drone to be autonomous. Defining factors include:
• Object recognition
• Advanced AI Pilot Assistance
• 360º Obstacle Avoidance 180° vertical view
• Motion Prediction
• Real-time 3D Mapping
• Workflow automation for specific use
Autonomous drones have significant advantages for inspection teams. BVLOS – Beyond Visual Line Of Sight – missions are important, allowing inspection teams to travel greater distances and view larger structures. With advanced hardware and software, these drones will collect more detailed data while keeping inspectors safe.