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Drones Change the Way

                                Industries Operate

                                                 by Peter Hildebrandt

         The concept of automatically-powered drone aircraft has moved from the stuff of
         science fiction to the everyday world. Though for a number of years, perhaps many of
         us viewed them as high end toys in the sky – and even those drones classified as toys
         continue to drop in price with each passing year – a growing number of companies
         now use them to revolutionize what used to be often lengthy, tedious chores.

               nmanned aerial vehicles (UAV),   for commercial operations.       “The only limit is a person’s imagina-
               informally known as drones, are   Basically, a drone can be used as long   tion,” says Brian Opp, Manager of aero-
         Ureinventing  old businesses  and   as it is less than 55 pounds, within eye-  space business development at the North
         even creating brand new opportunities.   sight by a certified ‘remote pilot in com-  Dakota Department of Commerce, said.
         Whether it’s innovation in media cov-  mand’ operator at a maximum altitude   “I’ve heard drones compared to the in-
         erage and filmmaking or new capabili-  of 400 feet. In the past users had to have   ternet a number of times. I don’t know
         ties for emergency responders, drones   a pilot’s license to operate an unmanned   if drones will be as world-changing, but
         are capable  of some pretty  incredible   aircraft. Most companies cannot afford   there are certainly so many commercial
         things. Last year, the Federal Aviation   to hire a pilot solely to pilot a drone. The   applications that can have a positive im-
         Administration (FAA)  released rules   certification  for  remote  pilot  in  com-  pact, either on a business’s bottom line or
         on commercial drone usage, clarifying   mand  is  not  strenuous,  and  generally   by making jobs safer.”
         the legal landscape for drone usage for   any adult can get one at little cost, and   Here’s  how  the use  of drones may
         work and business. Since then, indus-  very quickly. This opens the doors for al-  revolutionize a number of industries.
         trial applications of UAV technology   most any company to utilize unmanned   In agriculture farmers can benefit from
         have only grown.                   aircraft technology in their business.  drones in several ways. In fact, many
           New regulations streamline the     So  far,  businesses  have  used  drones   in  the  UAV industry  cite  agriculture
         process to legally operate a drone for   largely in video and photography, espe-  as an enormous area of opportunity for
         commercial purposes. Many entre-   cially for marketing purposes, but there   drone technology.
         preneurs are hailing the changes as   are many other applications of UAV   Not  only  can  drones  save  farmers
         a step forward that eases the process   technology that may be a surprise. From   money by helping them identify fail-
         of expanding commercial drone opera-  agriculture  to  internet  access,  drones   ing plants early on and take inventory
         tions. Among the changes included in   are a multipurpose tool that offers the   of crops, but the machines can also be
         the  update  are  relaxed  standards  for   potential to reimagine some of the most   used to map and study the farmland
         pilots which was previously required   critical ways the world operates.  and its irrigation  systems. In each  of
                                                                               these cases, utilizing drones helps ex-
         Unmanned Aircraft System (UAV) quadcopter drone in the air over a construction site giving
         the crew a birds eye perspective and gathering previously unavailable information about the   pedite what are otherwise  time-con-
         project. Photo by Feverpitch via DepositPhotos                        suming projects.
                                                                                 In addition, drones can be equipped
                                                                               to spray pesticides, fertilizers or water
                                                                               on crops. Each UAV is like a far cheap-
                                                                               er mini-crop duster. And for farms with
                                                                               livestock, drones can also be used to
                                                                               monitor the animals and quickly gath-
                                                                               er and track useful data about animal
                                                                               health and population.
                                                                                 Architectural  firms  and  construc-
                                                                               tion contractors benefit from the use of
                                                                               drones. Much like professionals in real
                                                                               estate, architects can use images and
                                                                               footage of a property to create 3D ren-
                                                                               derings of the structures they aim to
                                                                               build. By cheaply and quickly creating
                                                                               aerial shots on which to place an archi-
                                                                               tectural rendering, architects can cre-
                                                                               ate real-world concepts of their projects.
                                                                               This ability is indispensable to creating
                                                                               accurate  designs  and  understanding
                                                                               how  they  fit  within  properties.  Access
                                                                               to these plans during the construction
                                                                                                continued on page 10

         8      Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   December 2017
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