For more than a century, drones have existed in some form or another, though the level of their sophistication has greatly improved in the last two decades. One of the earliest examples was a Nikola Tesla design in 1917, and while that drone never took flight, it was the first of many milestones for what would become an extremely profitable market.
In 2017, the global drone market was valued at nearly $3.5 billion. By 2022, it is expected to reach over $14 billion, a level of growth that is driven by actionable data. As drone technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, reliable and affordable, its industrial and commercial applications have become more expensive.
Drone and artificial intelligence (AI) technology are being leveraged for simple tasks such as package deliveries to more complex applications, including geological surveys, agriculture, disaster relief, security, wildfire management, oil and gas exploration, real estate and construction, safety inspections, as well as asset, infrastructure and field management.
Sophisticated drone technology is no longer a luxury reserved for military applications. In 2010, when drone technology became Wi-Fi-enabled, this created new possibilities for countless industries, especially asset-intensive and mission critical operations with harsh and dangerous conditions.
Smart drones possess the characteristics of human intelligence, reasoning and problem solving abilities, paired with computer vision, machine learning technologies and other advanced features. Such drones have the ability to simplify tasks while collecting, storing and processing data to be used for optimizing workflows, performance and output.
There are countless participants in the drone market, both on the drone and AI side of the business. But not all players are the same. Some seek to improve robot autonomy. Others are interested in producing chips and technological advancements that promote deeper robot learning. And then there are some companies, at the forefront of integrating drone technology in real world business solutions. KloudGin, is one such player, developing an integrated business solution that solves field service problems. KloudGin has developed a sophisticated cloud platform and mobile business application engineered for field technicians that is known for its simplicity, rapid response and effective performance.
The major players in the oil and gas industry are utilizing drone technology to inspect oil platforms, drawing on a combination of video, thermal imaging and advanced image recognition technology to improve performance and safety on-site, and reduce inspection times. The results are impressive. Inspection times have gone from weeks to days without the need for work stoppages. The same results have been experienced by onshore wind turbine inspections, where timelines have been reduced and costs have been cut in half, per turbine.
But complex applications often have the wrong focus. “It doesn’t matter what kind of system you buy. If it’s not easy to use, it really doesn’t matter,” explains KloudGin’s Founder and CEO Vikram Takru. “The last mile is the most important thing because data is only worth collecting if there are tools to analyze and make sense of it in large volumes.”
There are countless case studies that demonstrate the benefits of employing drone technology, specifically in industrial and mission critical applications. Drones are tools that make tasks simpler, safer, faster and more efficient, as long as the technology is built with the hard-working individuals in mind who need a simple and intuitive way to go about their jobs.
Sophisticated drone technology can be a simple and cost-effective business solution that improves timelines and workflow while reducing operating and maintenance, as well as labor and insurance costs. The technology is and will be an important aspect of Industry 4.0 and early adopters will reap the most value and reward in doing so.
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