By Anya Lamb, Marketing Manager @DroneDeploy – Along with construction, inspection is poised to be one of the primary industries to adopt drones — and it’s no wonder. Traditional means of inspecting buildings, utilities and other infrastructure are time consuming, labor intensive, and susceptible to human error and accident. By contrast, drones can capture data for inspection purposes in minutes or hours, rather than days, while at the same time reducing the need to put humans in potentially dangerous environments.
Here at DroneDeploy, we’ve seen growing interest among our customers in using drones for inspection, as in one recent case study about using a drone to inspect a €100,000,000 insurance claim. We’ve learned about their needs and listened to their feedback — and we’re very excited to share two new capabilities with broad-ranging implications for inspections, regardless of industry.
Ever since DJI announced its plans to partner with Flir to put a thermal camera on a DJI drone, drone operators across a wide range of industries have been eagerly anticipating thermal mapping and brainstorming the myriad ways it could be used. Today, the Zenmuse XT camera is widely available for the DJI Inspire, and we are working closely with DJI to make powerful, accessible thermal mapping a reality. Thermal image processing is currently in the beta test phase, with automated flight for the XT coming soon.
One key use of thermal mapping is for building inspection.
“Before we hand over the keys to a new building, we’ll be able to fly with a thermal camera to check for leaks. If there is a crack in the caulking and heat is coming out of the building, that will show up as a bright spot on the thermal camera,” said Andrew Dennison, COO of Lift Technologies, a UAV service company started by Clayco Construction in a blog post earlier this year.
But the uses of thermal mapping aren’t limited to construction. From inspecting solar panels and other electrical infrastructure to monitoring the body temperature and health of livestock, the possible applications for thermal imagery are endless.
A drone map or 3D model allows you to zoom in to examine a site or a structure in high resolution with a high degree of accuracy — but what if you could click on an area of your map and see the actual photographs that the drone captured of that area? With our new tool, it’s easy to do just that. Drop a marker on your DroneDeploy map, and the four nearest photographs will appear in the left side-panel. Then you can click on any photo to expand it.
Take a closer look at areas of interest, either for on-the-fly visual inspection on your mobile device or to generate reports and summaries. Visit our help center to learn more about the photo inspection tool.