All posts by Sanuav

The Hanover Insurance Group to Leverage Loveland Innovations’ Drones, Technology to Enhance Claims Service

Loveland Innovations, the leading provider of data analytics and technology solutions for insurance, today announced it will provide The Hanover Insurance Group with drone and technology capabilities, helping the company provide more effective and efficient claims service to its partners and customers.

Through this partnership, Loveland Innovations will provide The Hanover with a sophisticated, digital-first approach to claim inspections and analysis. With Loveland’s inspection platform of drones and advanced machine learning tools, The Hanover is improving claim data quality and speeding up service times.

“We’re careful to select technology partners that share our vision of creating an outstanding experience for our policyholders,” says James J. McSheffrey, vice president, claims property and operations at The Hanover. “After evaluating competing drone and analytics solutions, we partnered with Loveland Innovations because of their insurance experience and insight, as well as its vision.”

This partnership is part of The Hanover’s comprehensive, forward-looking digital strategy, to leverage the most effective and efficient technologies to better serve its partners and customers.

“The team at The Hanover puts a great deal of emphasis on the role technology can play in improving the insurance solutions they provide to their agent partners and customers, which makes them a great fit as a partner,” says Jim Loveland, Founder and CEO of Loveland Innovations. “We’re glad to be a part of how they’re redefining their claims process.”

Loveland Innovations’ inspection platform, IMGING®, uses automated drones and smart devices to help field adjusters gather inspection data and gives desk adjusters an app workspace where they can review imagery, measurements, 3D models, and use technology to identify and inspect damage in hard to reach places, like on roofs and the upper levels of homes and commercial building. Loveland Innovations also provides on-demand drone-based inspections through a service called Drone Assist™, which leverages a network of certified drone pilots and the IMGING app to deliver carriers property data in just a few days.

About Loveland Innovations

Loveland Innovations is a team of innovators building leaner, meaner ways to turn property data into clarity and action. No corporate nonsense, just get-it-done attitude. They make it easy for anyone to digitize a property or structure, then explore, measure, and analyze it with artificial intelligence.

www.lovelandinnovations.com

GA-ASI’s Predator A RPA Turns 25

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, marks the 25th anniversary of its Predator A unmanned aircraft this month. Predator A completed its first flight in July 1994 and made its operational debut in 1995. More than 320 Predator A’s have been delivered to customers in support of global security throughout the world, and the product line remained in production until 2011. Predator A’s have flown close to 141,000 missions and over two million total flight hours. More than 90 percent of those hours were flown supporting combat missions.

“With innovation in mind, we have always looked for ways to challenge the industry standard,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “Our Predator-series has evolved over the past 25 years into MQ-9 and Gray Eagle (MQ-1C), which are the most combat-proven RPA in the world.”

GA-ASI won its first major program award for the Predator A in 1994 from the U.S. Joint Program Office, which was later transferred to the U.S. Air Force. In addition to the U.S., the Predator A was purchased by the Italian Ministry of Defense for the Italian Air Force, and later in a modernized version known as the Predator XP for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Predator A established GA-ASI’s legacy of delivering long-endurance, multi-mission RPA with integrated sensors and data link systems for persistent situational awareness and rapid strike capabilities. The Predator series continues to excel in combat environments and in performing civilian surveillance missions.

“We’re proud of our long and distinguished history of supporting the warfighter,” said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI. “From Predator A, to Predator B, Gray Eagle, Avenger®, and their various mission configurations, our aircraft and payload systems continue to address changing mission requirements for U.S. and Allied militaries and civilian users.”

Over its 25 year history, the Predator series fleets have flown close to six million flight hours. GA-ASI is now developing the newest version of the series, MQ-9B SkyGuardian, which complies with airworthiness certification and air traffic management requirements that will enable the RPA to operate in the National Airspace System (NAS).

DroneBase Purchases Betterview’s Roof-Reporting Software To Provide End-To-End Property Inspection Services

DroneBase, the leading global drone services company, today announced that it has acquired Betterview’s drone roof inspection software and services, establishing the company’s first foray into analytics and first purchase. The transition will seamlessly carry over both the software technology and customers to DroneBase, while Betterview will solely focus on its risk management platform, which is based on manned aircraft and satellite imagery.

“DroneBase’s mission is to provide businesses with fast, affordable, and reliable data to make better-informed decisions, and we’ll continue to fulfill that mission by providing drone services to our analytics partners and an end-to-end solution for Betterview’s clients,” said Dan Burton, Founder and CEO of DroneBase. “Having worked with Betterview for almost two years, we have been impressed with their platform and its solutions. We will continue to enhance the technology by pairing our trove of aerial data with analytics and artificial intelligence.”

The Betterview drone inspection software, now called DroneBase Insights, aims to help insurers and property managers to assess damage and mitigate risk for commercial properties. The platform is currently used by industry leaders, such as Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies. DroneBase Insights will allow the drone services company to tap into its years worth of aerial data and better serve partners in insurance, property management, commercial real estate, and more.

“Since late 2017, DroneBase has been a trusted partner of Betterview and they have consistently proven to be reliable, fast, and customer-centric,” said David Lyman, Co-Founder and CEO of Betterview. “One of the benefits of this transaction is that it will allow P&C insurers to triage their drone inspections by quickly identifying high-risk properties via Betterview’s platform or API. When carriers need to dig deeper, they can order a drone inspection from DroneBase and receive a detailed roof report that contains analysis along with high-resolution imagery.”

By selling its software to DroneBase, Betterview has fully shifted its focus to its risk management platform, which leverages machine learning, computer vision and geospatial data to deliver data, analysis and insights on commercial and residential properties throughout the United States.

About DroneBase

DroneBase is the largest global drone operations company, which provides businesses with stunning aerial information to make better, real-time decisions about their most critical assets from the world’s largest Pilot Network. Based in Los Angeles, the company is the trusted, go-to platform for aerial images and data for worldwide enterprise commercial clients across multiple industries such as residential and commercial real estate, insurance, telecommunications, construction, and media. DroneBase has completed over 100,000 commercial missions flown in over 70 countries and in all 50 states. The company was incubated by Y Combinator and has raised funding from FLIR Systems, Union Square Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group, Accel Partners, SV Angel and DJI.

About Betterview

Betterview provides property insight and workflow tools for Insurance companies to improve the customer experience by accelerating decisions and improving risk at every point of the life cycle. For more information about Betterview, visit: https://www.betterview.net

Septentrio strengthens its GNSS/INS portfolio with a single antenna receiver

High-precision GPS/INS receiver is now available with a single antenna for faster integration, lighter weight and lower power consumption.

High-precision GPS/INS receiver is now available with a single antenna option for faster integration, lighter weight and lower power consumption.

Leuven, Belgium – July 16, 2019 Septentrio, a leader in high-precision positioning technology, announced today that their GPS/INS receiver is now available with a single antenna option. This single antenna receiver brings the possibility of robust centimeter positioning and 3D attitude (heading, roll, pitch), while keeping weight and power consumption to a minimum. For Septentrio customers this means simplified integration as well as increased operation time and productivity.

Septentrio reliable centimeter-level positioning is based on multi-frequency, multi-constellation GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS) technology. AsteRx-i S combines GNSS and an industry-grade IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) to deliver precise positioning together with 3D attitude and coasting functionality. Septentrio’s unique GNSS – IMU integration algorithm enables continuous positioning in difficult environments such as near high structures, under foliage or during short GNSS outages (this is referred to as coasting or dead reckoning). This makes AsteRx-i S an ideal positioning solution for robotics, autonomous vehicles and logistics. Previously available only as a dual antenna product, AsteRx-i S is now available with either a single or a dual antenna option.

“By strengthening our GPS/INS integration portfolio we continue building upon our strategy of bringing reliable precise positioning together with 3D attitude to challenging industrial environments such as container parks or tree plantations,” said Danilo Sabbatini, Product Manager at Septentrio. “AsteRx-i S has now become even more versatile with the support of both single and dual antenna operations on the same hardware platform. With the single antenna AsteRx-i S delivers accurate 3D attitude in small-size applications where weight and power consumption are critical, while the dual antenna option is still the best solution for applications requiring short initialization time.”

Small, light, low power

The single antenna AsteRx-i S requires minimal space which makes it ideal for robotic devices looking for small and light precise positioning solutions. Since only one antenna is required, there is less weight and lower power consumption, resulting in extended battery life. The dual antenna AsteRx-i S, on the other hand, is the best solution for devices requiring quick heading initialization and devices with prolonged static operation.

Advanced Interference Mitigation

AsteRx-i S comes with built-in Advanced Interference Mitigation (AIM+) technology. In robotic devices neighboring electronics can emit electromagnetic radiation which interfere with GNSS signals. AIM+ offers protection against such interference resulting in faster set-up times and robust continuous operation. A built-in power spectrum plot allows users to analyze interference, helping locate its source and mitigating it.

By offering both single and dual antenna options, Septentrio is now able to better accommodate specific needs of their customers interested in a GNSS/INS solution.

More product info: AsteRx-i S product page

A new dual-propeller drone can fly twice as long

EPFL startup Flybotix has developed a novel drone with just two propellers and an advanced stabilization system that allow it to fly for twice as long as conventional models. That fact, together with its small size, makes it perfect for inspecting hard-to-reach parts of industrial facilities such as ducts.

The main drawback of small drones is their limited flight time, which results from their heavy batteries and relatively inefficient propellers. So for longer missions, a small drone’s battery has to be regularly recharged or replaced. While engineers are working on new designs to address this problem, no real solution has been found – until now. Samir Bouabdallah, who has over 20 years of experience developing drone technology at EPFL and ETH Zurich, has come up with an inventive propulsion system modeled after those used by helicopters. His design, marketed through his startup Flybotix, uses just two propellers and an algorithm-based stabilization mechanism, giving his drones “the aerodynamic performance of a helicopter and the mechanical stability of a quadcopter.” Recently in China for the CES Asia conference and the Venture Leaders China program, Bouabdallah has decided to explore opportunities in this promising market.

Two rotors guided by stabilization algorithms

A drone’s flying time is proportional to its size – the smaller the machine, the less time it can spend in the air. “Drones with four rotors are highly stable, making them reliable and easy to use,” says Bouabdallah. But as these drones get smaller, their propellers become increasingly inefficient. That, combined with their limited battery capacity, explains their abbreviated flying times.

One way to extend those times is to use a completely different kind of propulsion system. By reducing the number of propellers from four to two, for instance, engineers can make each propeller longer and the rotor more efficient. That also cuts the amount of power required, meaning the same-sized battery can run for longer. But until now, drones with two propellers were generally less stable and harder to manipulate. Bouabdallah’s design employs a ring-like structure – around 30 centimeters in diameter – in which the propellers are stacked on top of each other in the center and turn in opposite directions. His drones look more like flying saucers than the machines we’re used to seeing.

Another innovation relates to his drones’ stabilization mechanism. Helicopters use a complicated transmission system that enables pilots to control the blades and maintain the aircraft’s pitch. But this system is heavy, cumbersome and requires a considerable amount of maintenance. However, Bouabdallah has developed an algorithm that offsets the two rotating forces and serves the same function as a helicopter’s transmission system. His drones can therefore be piloted just as easily as quadcopters, using a conventional remote-control device.

Bouabdallah’s drone, with its unique transmission system and foam covering its outer ring, can bounce off of obstacles without breaking. The first application that Flybotix will target is inspecting dangerous or hard-to-reach areas. While in China last month the team got a lot of positive feedback on their technology and made some promising contacts. They hope to soon launch their drones on the Chinese market.


Author: Cécilia Carron

Everdrone completes first autonomous drone delivery between hospitals in Sweden

Deliveries in urban environments is by many considered to be the holy grail of the drone industry. Swedish software and drone service developer, Everdrone, just completed their first fully autonomous deliveries between two hospitals in central Gothenburg. The flight stretched 4,4 km and was made possible through a first-of-its-kind permit given out by the Swedish Transport Agency. The flight was also unique in the sense that the landing was performed in a GPS denied location between tall buildings and only made possible by Everdrone’s onboard sensor system.

Each year about 7400 transportations are carried out between the three major hospitals in Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg. A large majority of the goods are light-weight with a high value, such as blood bags or laboratory samples. In many situations, time is of the essence for this type of deliveries and during rush hours there is a large risk of traffics jams causing significant delays in the transportation chain.

By collaborating with the Innovation Platform – a department bridging the healthcare, academia and the Life Science industry ­– Everdrone is researching the possibility of using drones as a mean of transportation between hospitals in the Gothenburg area. “A major step forward in turning the concept into reality was taken last week when we successfully performed a number of fully autonomous drone flights in fully realistic environments”, Mats Sällström, CEO of Everdrone, says. Those flights were performed between Sahlgrenska Hospital and Mölndal Hospital.

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The primary purpose with this project is to evaluate the possibility of time savings, but we also see opportunities when it comes to making transportations more environmentally friendly and also reducing costs“, says Magnus Kristiansson, project manager at the Innovation Platform at Region Västra Götaland. “We are constantly working to improve the healthcare services in the region and one way of doing this is to evaluate new technologies“.

We see great potential in using autonomous drones in the healthcare sector, but in order to make the concept a reality we must show that the technology works in real life, and that it is safe! This type of demonstration proves that both technology and regulations have matured to a degree that we can now carry out fully realistic flights in an urban environment“, Mats added.

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The total flight path in question is 4,4 km (2,73 miles) of which 80% stretches parks and recreational areas, and 20% stretches residential areas. The flights were made possible by Everdrone’s flight system. The drone itself is a standard off the shelf product. Equipped with software and sensor technology developed by Everdrone it gets the necessary capabilities for autonomous BVLOS operations (beyond visual line of sight). Among other things, the system includes the following features:

  • Multi-stereo camera technology for 360° sense and avoid.
  • Visual positioning through optical flow (aka visual odometry) allowing for safe manoeuvring in GPS denied areas.
  • Vision-based landing system for precision landing on ground markers.
  • Onboard ADS-B receiver for detection and avoidance of manned aircraft.
  • Comprehensive self-diagnostics and fail-safe capabilities using both internal and external data sources.
  • Telemetry connection via the mobile network (3G/4G).
  • Onboard and remote black box.

For more information on Everdrone’s technology, visit everdrone.com/offer or get in touch via [email protected].

The flights performed were fully autonomous, from take-off all the way to the landing that was carried out in a courtyard surrounded by tall buildings.

A function that is particularly important for missions in urban environments is the ability to carry out extremely high-precision landings in places where GPS reception is not reliable. The landing spot used in this scenario is surrounded by buildings. In such an environment you cannot rely on traditional GPS positioning, it simply isn’t safe enough“, says Maciek Drejak, CTO at Everdrone. “Instead, we have developed a vision-based system that is able to ensure the distance to surrounding obstacles, and also to steer the drone towards a specially designed landing marker on the ground.”

The demonstration program included 8 missions in total and was carried out in Gothenburg, Sweden, between July 9th and 13th 2019. All flights were completed according to plan with all systems operating as expected.

Teledyne Energy Systems and Vertical Partners Enter Agreement for Advanced Grade Power Solutions

Vertical Partners West and Teledyne Energy Systems Inc. (TESI) announce a collaborative agreement to serve the power needs in the emerging and rapidly growing unmanned, robotic and mission-critical portable power market.

Vertical Partners West, LLC parent company of Venom Power, a leading supplier of drone batteries and charging solutions for commercial industries, have entered into an agreement with TESI, a technology leader in the fields of electrolytic, thermoelectric, battery and fuel cell systems. As part of the agreement, TESI will support a wide variety of Vertical Partners West’s complex energy projects.

Vertical Partners West will expand its product offerings to include TESI’s current and future developed energy system technologies.

“By combining Vertical Partners West’s market and distribution strength with Teledyne Energy Systems’ technology and ability to offer challenging energy solutions we will be able to raise the level of operational performance and provide a trusted source for unmanned energy requirements,” said Mitch Icard, Teledyne Energy Systems’ Vice President and General Manager.

Vertical Partners West, LLC has been servicing the US battery market since 2001 with its Venom Power branded line of commercial, UAS batteries, charging, and battery management systems, as well as being a developer of OEM batteries for other commercial and UAS applications. TESI has been a trusted energy provider for mission-critical applications in the commercial, defense and space industries since 1968. Through this agreement between TESI and Vertical Partners West, customers will receive world-class engineering, cutting-edge technologies, and customer service.

“Teledyne Energy Systems has been at the forefront of technology for 50 years. Their work in providing innovative power solutions for the most demanding conditions is legendary. Working with such a trusted partner allows us to offer our customers an unparalleled experience and access to

technology not normally accessible to the general public,” said Keith Wallace, Vertical Partners West,

LLC President and CEO. “As our customers’ requirements become more and more complex we are excited to be able to work closely with Teledyne to offer aerospace grade solutions for their mission-critical needs.”

Together the two companies will deliver high-value solutions for large-scale operators looking to develop battery, fuel cell or hybrid energy systems. These systems will include charging and fuel development systems allowing for a complete end-to-end solution. This level of engineering was not previously available from a single supplier. This direct approach provides customers with a highly integrated system engineered specifically for their application.

About Teledyne Energy Systems

Teledyne Energy Systems is an industry leader in the fields of electrolytic, thermoelectric, and fuel cell systems. Teledyne Energy Systems provides engineering, commercial systems and advanced manufacturing solutions for harsh environments in space, defense, energy, and maritime industries. For over five decades, the company has successfully delivered innovative systems, integration, operations and technology development worldwide. For more information about Teledyne Energy Systems visit:

www.teledynees.com.

About Teledyne Technologies Incorporated

Teledyne Technologies is a leading provider of sophisticated instrumentation, digital imaging products and software, aerospace and defense electronics, and engineered systems. Teledyne Technologies’ operations are primarily located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Western and Northern Europe.

For more information, visit Teledyne Technologies’ website at www.teledyne.com.

About Vertical Partners West, LLC

Vertical Partners West is a leader in the development, distribution, and support of batteries, battery chargers and battery management systems for the unmanned systems, robotics, and commercial markets. Vertical Partners West, LLC has been providing custom battery and charging solutions since 2001 under the industry-leading brand

Venom Power worldwide.

For more information please, visit www.vpwllc.com.

Epirus CTO to Speak at DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative Summit

Epirus Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer Dr. Bo Marr will join other top U.S. technology innovators as a presenter at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) Summit on July 17 in Detroit, Michigan. Epirus is the only U.S. developer of software-defined electromagnetic pulse (EMP) technology—a short burst of directed energy that can take down unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), otherwise known as drones, a growing national security problem that has caused airport shutdowns and other disturbances. DARPA is the federal agency responsible for making pivotal investments and breakthrough technologies for the U.S. Department of Defense.

The ERI Summit’s agenda focuses on Edge Intelligence (EI), which “enables smart devices to sense, decide with, act on and send information at the point of raw data collection rather than relying on the cloud.” Marr’s presentation is titled, “Edge Intelligence in Extremely Compact Form Factors Enables New Military Capability.”

“I am grateful to DARPA for the opportunity to share our successful field testing and research that shows the tactical value of the world’s first software-defined EMP weapon aided by artificial intelligence for targeting,” said Marr, who is a Fellow of the National Science Foundation. “I look forward to discussing how two trends are emerging in edge processing in military applications – increased target recognition, classification, and tracking, especially in combating drone swarms, and the move towards fully autonomous systems.”

Other presenters at the ERI Summit include senior researchers and executives from Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Intel, and Raytheon, as well as professors from UC Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Michigan, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Purdue University. On June 1, 2017, DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office announced a new ERI effort to focus on creating “far-reaching improvements in electronics performance well beyond the limits of traditional scaling.” According to DARPA, “ERI draws on new and existing DARPA programs to make a significant investment into enabling circuit specialization and managing complexity.”

Marr is well-respected for his leadership in the development of major RF-based products and roadmaps, including on airborne systems such as the F-18, Growler, F-15, and Coyote UAS. While at Raytheon, Marr won the CEO award for innovation, filed over 70 U.S. and international patents, and was a technical lead on the Next Generation Jammer program. He has reviewed and facilitated 600 inventions and 100 peer-reviewed papers as elected Raytheon IP Champion. Marr began his career at IBM where he co-engineered the chips behind Watson. He is a Fellow of the National Science Foundation and holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

About Epirus:

Epirus is the only U.S. developer of software-defined electromagnetic pulse (EMP) technology—a short burst of directed energy to take down unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), otherwise known as drones. The company is under contract with various U.S. Department of Defense agencies and has successfully tested its EMP systems under rigorous government oversight. Headquartered near the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in El Segundo, CA, Epirus draws on the heritage that launched the Space Age combined with the culture of innovation from founders, early investors, and executives who have been behind Palantir, Oculus, Rally Health, and OpenGov, among other leading companies. The leadership team at Epirus includes senior-level engineers, researchers, and scientists from Raytheon, Boeing, IBM, and Google. Collectively, they hold over 120 U.S. patents—more patents per employee than any of its closest competitors. The company has expertise in understanding how drones respond to EMP, which helps inform its work in developing technological innovations into how America will defeat drone swarms. Epirus is formally collaborating with two legacy aerospace and defense companies.

Epirus Systems

Shilligan’s Island

When the #ChiComms floods your waders –

DJI has handled the “we don’t want your data” issue so poorly three times now that the insult to injury has had to cost them millions of dollars in revenue and their credibility is now comfortably perched two notches below laughable. The only thing funnier than the credibility-free fall is the video of Uncle RICO on the UK version of So You Think You Can Dance.

All right, okay, we’ve got it: DJI isn’t collecting data. But it must make it hard to comply with a government subpoena if you aren’t collecting data. “We’d love to help you out, judge, but, you see, we don’t collect customer data.” I assume that is everyone and not just the folks who aren’t having their data collected by default. Furthermore, DJI says the data they don’t collect is stored on domestic severs, so I am assuming they didn’t read down to the bottom of the AWS terms of service.

Don’t feel left out if you didn’t get one of those Christmas data breach letters that they sent out a few years ago. Just be thankful you are not the dude who left the DJI server password on GitHub, who won a fabulous six-month, all-inclusive vacation at the Hard Rock Hotel. The band-aid of hiring a “security” firm wasn’t even worth the good money after bad. When I called them on it, they gave me a response that might fly with your Best Buy bumpkins. They hired professional hacks to push low-grade propaganda and attack pieces that blew up in their faces Wiley Coyote style. Copies of DoD documents warning of the #ChiComms made their credibility careen into the mountain several times over.

And the poop rolls downhill –

Part 107.31 and 107. 33 (b) & (c) (2) waiver watch continues, and it is entirely plausible that no one has heard that the validity of the PrecisionHawk BVLOS waiver is in question. The best and brightest at the Chinese Toy Company assure the would-be ca-ballas that no one listens to that negative malcontent. Anyone that still believes that hogwash probably still thinks the FAA is running a square NAS integration game.

PHawkers are woke, and we have a good inclination that the brass at the FAA is well aware of the situation since the FAA Office of Communications asked me –

Patrick,

Since you are a member of the press, please direct any questions to the Office of Communications and not directly email or call various program offices within the FAA. Our policy is that all media queries come through us; therefore, the program offices will direct you to our office. We are working on your request, and if you have additional questions, please send them to us. Thank you in advance for adhering to our policy.

THX

I’ve got this hybrid concerned citizen/journalist thing going, as I’ve been asking questions as a private citizen from over a decade ago that are still, well, unresolved. As of late, I’ve been asking the DC folks about the waiver game plan, and no one apparently wants to talk about it. And I can dig it, since the optics on the 27-year “safety of the NAS” integration process appears to have a few speed holes in it. The 107-waiver process is a slow, tedious, expensive fustercluck even for those amongst you who have more VC money than common sense.

The only thing sensible advice from the FAA HQ was to call the local FSDO. Okay, I thought I had the Mayberry FSDO on the blower, as the manager had no clue as to what was going on in his jurisdiction and did not sound as though he wanted to leave the office or even figure out what he was supposed to look for. “We’re going to have to call Washington to figure out what is going on,” I told Barney that is where I got the idea to call him. If you don’t go out and look at the logbooks, how are you going to know about the purported crashes, shoot downs, and no VOs? Who knows what the heck was going on out there when the guy who is responsible for BVLOS waiver left the company almost a year ago.

I’m wondering how the FAA “leadership” thinks they are going to educate externally when the internal is uneducated and unaware. Whatever the case, other waivers are being pulled down, but not old PHawks ‘cause that thing is as clean as a whistle. Why else would they still be advertising it on their website?

A few examples of cooked waivers –

University of Arkansas

Donovan Davis

And one coming up this week –

San Diego Gas and Electric

AUVSI and the FAA UAS Symposium –

What a travesty has befallen us as an end-user community—and no, I’m not referencing Buzzy the drone. The perfunctory panels of experts populated with folks whose standings are for sale (got to feed the monkey upfront nowadays; no more credit) or in free-fall. The lobbyists overestimated their clients (and their own) credentials, and possibly it correlates to the amount the client (John) has on deposit, I don’t know… Worse, the carpetbagger drone shows are using photos and video from the FAA AUVSI cavalcade of contempt to hustle up some of the new clueless and careless rubes to fleece at their shows. Furthermore, I’ve seen several other examples of what would appear to the layperson to be Federal Government employee endorsements made with lobbyists. For some reason, the cake eater in me senses a little condescension in the glib smiles.

The DAC and Pony Show 2.1 –

Not vetting the PreciscionHawk CEO before naming him chairperson for the new DAC is either another heaping helping of FAA gross incompetence or possibly just some Obama-era leftovers hoping to resist change and ultimately trying to dismantle the transportation secretary’s credibility. Either way, it adds a hollow ring to the safety platitudes. They are all over the place on the RID and on who is doing what even though the RC hobbyist scapegoat has been banished to the hinterlands as a diversion to cover the dysfunction. This same gaggle of useless idiots that pulled a Benedict Arnold on the RC hobbyist would probably clamor to outsource the whole advisory process to the Chinese Toy Company if it meant they wouldn’t get publicly Airmaped.

What’ll you have? A Blue Ribbon committee –

Apparently, the ex-administrator (AKA “the golden parachute”) is coin-operated and makes those two over at the Commercial Drone Alliance look like pussycats when it comes to the laying on of the leaches (#Polivation). Apparently he has seen the light and is not only shilling for Israeli parachutes but Chinese ADS-B too! I’m telling you, these guys/gals leave the FAA and, shazam, it is like a regulatory drone fog totally clears within six months. Some lower echelon types have been observed shaking the regulatory doldrones in less than two weeks. Others are allegedly moonlighting inside the UASIO like it’s a farm team spring training camp for the private sector.

Crashy says – You won’t miss any of the fun if you follow @theDroneDealer on Twitter!

Seven ways your UAV-mapping business will benefit from an AI object detection platform

Geospatial insights are in high demand and automating the feature extraction process is key to scaling up your aerial mapping services.

Drone services – the strength of a diverse market

Along with the hardware and software sectors, the drone services market is the largest segment in the commercial drone industry with the strongest expansion. According to the market research report “Global Drone Service Market Analysis & Trends – Industry Forecast to 2025”, the drone services market is estimated at USD 4.4 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 63.6 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 55.9% from 2019 to 2025.

This is a huge opportunity for drone service providers. The key for capturing a share of this growing market is to offer turnkey business solutions beyond data capture, such as mapping, surveying and specialized geospatial analytics.

Geospatial insights are in high demand.

With more and more business relying on location data to optimize their day-to-day operations and planning or gain first-hand market insights. The drone service market grows as an effect of this increasing demand for geospatial insights.

Business and industries in need of geospatial analytics are increasingly diverse. Farmers need to know how many of their plants are underproductive. Ranchers need to know how many heads of cattle survived after a flood. Insurance companies need to know how many roofs were damaged during a storm. Electricity companies need to know how many solar panels are there in a city. Oil companies need to detect oil spills. Water companies need to know how many manhole covers are damaged or stolen. The applications and use cases are potentially endless. All of these businesses need the number and the location of each of the objects they are tracking.

Most of the drone service providers we daily speak with excel at generating photogrammetry-based mapping and surveying products, however, delivering geospatial insights derived from these products can be challenging and it starts to become a bottleneck.

No one questions the potential value that these insight-rich geospatial products can add to their services, but they are hard to scale.

Manually extracting the features the clients are interested in is time-consuming and costly to scale up. Automating this process by hiring highly specialized professionals -machine learning experts, computer vision specialists and data scientists- and investing in infrastructure is not an option for small and medium-size drone service businesses.

A cost-effective solution to automate the feature extraction process and increase the geospatial analysis production capacity is to use Picterra, a cloud-based AI object detection platform.

7-benefits-ai-object-detection7-benefits-ai-object-detection

Incorporating Picterra into a drone service business has multiple benefits, here we listed the top 7:

1) 100x Faster – Reduce turnaround time & increase turnover

Firstly, not only can AI improve the accuracy of the project, but it can also reduce the time-to-delivery. The entire workload of mapping, detecting and extracting data can last up to days if being done manually. Instead, automated detection can execute faster with the power of Artificial Intelligence, shorten the delivery time from days to minutes. Furthermore, by being freed from the repetitive manual process, you use that amount of time to work on a new project or acquire new clients.

2) Save 10K $ per month for automated object detection – Avoid unnecessary investment

Continually, you don’t need to invest in infrastructure or R&D. GPUs and highly specialized expertise are expensive. For instance, several thousands of dollars are needed to use a high-end GPU virtual machine on cloud services. On top of which the expertise required in-house brings the expenses close to ten thousands of dollars per month. With our online platform, these are built-in components you can directly leverage on. With Picterra, you get state of the art machine learning algorithms and infrastructure without the need for extra expertise.

3) One tool for all – Serve diverse markets with a single tool

Maximize your ROI by using a single tool for all of your feature extraction projects. The versatility and flexibility of the object detection algorithms Picterra deploys, allows you to customize them and count objects such as trees, sheep, solar panels, shipping containers or buildings today. At the same time, you will be able to craft a detector for any other type of objects.

4) 95% accuracy – Crack human limitations

The AI-powered platform can detect objects faster and more efficiently than a human being. It is able to cover large areas and spot tens, hundreds or thousands of objects in the blink of an eye.

In addition to the scale at which it can operate, AI can also improve the accuracy of the detections. Even the most meticulous person is bound to make mistakes while carrying out monotonous manual detection over large scale. This is where automation helps by learning features, performing the same steps accurately every time they are executed and focusing the human expertise on challenging and rare features.

5) 5 x cheaper vs manual detection – Reduce cost and labor intensity

The same heavy workload being repeated with every project requires more cost and labor intensity to deliver the results in time. In contrast, once created — automated detection can be executed again and again, without additional cost at a much faster pace. By integrating AI in the process, the overall timespan can be reduced which translates directly into cost savings.

6) Streamline integration with your workflow

You can run AI object detection on orthophotos produced with any photogrammetry software in the market, such as Reality Capture, DroneDeploy, Agisoft Metashape, SimActive Correlator3D or Pix4Dmapper. Picterra allows you to analyze the detections, derive statistics and generate customized reports you can deliver to your clients.

You can also export the detections as georeferenced layers in various formats that are optimized to match your workflow on ArcGIS and other GIS software.

7) Train to detect anything in 10 minutes – No steep learning curve

Last but not least, the Picterra platform offers you an intuitive user interface to build and run your own detectors in just a few clicks.

Let’s see AI object detection in action

After the acquisition of aerial images over an urban scene, the orthomosaic has been taken on Picterra to localize and map 7 categories of objects:

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  • Roofs: up-to-date detections give local governments and insurance companies insights on discrepancies on declared values and a correct parametrization of the prime.
  • Swimming pools: local governments can localize swimming pools and compare this information with building permit registers. Moreover, tax declaration discrepancies can be spotted.
  • Vehicles: car dealers can use this information to target marketing campaigns, local governments to plan parking infrastructure and road network adaptations and real estate agencies to spot and assess most frequently visited areas and shop windows.
  • Road marks: up-to-date detections provide key insights to local infrastructure and traffic agencies or insurance companies when analyzing the geographic prevalence and distribution of traffic accidents. Moreover, this supports an efficient maintenance planning of road marks.
  • Solar panels: determining their prevalence and geolocation unlock key market insights for energy companies and solar panel manufacturers. An optimized management of the demand and supply of renewable energy requires also up-to-date information on the solar panel locations.
  • Manhole covers: water & utility companies need this information in order to plan maintenance and network expansion.
  • Trees: detecting trees in proximity to key assets provides insurance companies with valuable risk assessment information. Detecting trees encroaching buffer zones is also key to infrastructure planning such as gas pipeline or overhead power lines.
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Explore the project: http://app.picterra.ch/shared_projects/ee3ee4b7-114b-42e1-8eac-cd9cb2168bd5