Part 107 Drone Operator Switches from DJI to Skydio and Increases Per-Pilot Revenue 37%

Guillaume Delepine

One of the best parts of my job is talking to customers and listening to their stories about the way that Skydio 2 is changing the way they fly and in some cases, the way they fundamentally do business. Today I’m excited to share with you the story of Accurate Drone Solutions, a construction-focused Part 107 Operation in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. With 11 years of experience in UAS for construction, CEO Sam Delong has embraced Skydio and AI-powered autonomy to the point of deciding to replace their DJI fleet with Skydio 2 as way of improving their operations across the board:

“When I started Accurate Drone Solutions, the [DJI] Phantom was my drone of choice but it often made complex projects extremely complicated to map correctly…After having the opportunity to run Skydio’s on complex intricate scanning projects I have been able to see first hand that their autonomy is the way of the future. As a business, Accurate Drone Solutions is phasing out DJI and aiming to integrate Skydio’s on all of our projects to not only provide extremely precise data to our clients but to bring autonomous drones into the construction industry and prove to large companies just how valuable the data they generate can be.” — Sam Delong, CEO, LinkedIn post on 11.12.2020

Challenge: Manual DJI drones take longer and generate less accurate maps

Mapping with manual drones was time-intensive and generated inferior models than what is possible today. Because the DJI Phantom 4 Pro v2.0 is designed for manual flight, the Accurate Drone Solutions team faced a challenge whenever obstacles were present — for example on a construction site with a crane. In these cases, the team faced a tradeoff of safety vs. speed and quality. To avoid crashes, the team would either have to plan four grid flight missions around the crane, which increases data capture time by 4x, or perform the grid flight at a high enough altitude to clear the obstacles, which decreases the resolution of items at ground level. As a result, the team was burdened with an extensive data capture process that limited its total earning potential.

Solution: Skydio 2 and DroneDeploy to capture data from any site, at any altitude

Today, Accurate Drone Solutions uses the Skydio 2 paired with DroneDeploy. Thanks to the vehicle’s native onboard autonomy, the team does not need to worry about obstacles when they set up automated DroneDeploy flight paths, so they can generate 3D Model inputs from lower altitudes.

Results: Better maps in ¼ of the time

Accurate Drone Solutions’ results are an indication of the power autonomy has to make independent drone operators more efficient and profitable. Sam’s operation has reduced flight time by 66%, processing time by 25%, and secured a 10x ROI on switching from the DJI Phantom 4 v2.0 to the Skydio 2 for DroneDeploy mapping. Overall, Accurate Drone Solutions has seen a 37% uptick in revenue per pilot.

Meanwhile, data quality is also improved. Thanks to Skydio drones’ native obstacle avoidance, Accurate Drone Solutions can perform photogrammetry flights at lower altitudes, where other drones cannot fly due to greater obstacle densities. As a result, the Skydio 2 is able to generate better quality data than its higher-priced DJI alternatives.

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Two DroneDeploy models captured by DJI (left) and Skydio (right). Delong points out the more vivid colors and greater resolution of the model generated by the Skydio 2.

To learn how Accurate Drone Solutions is generating this incredible value for their own operation and their customers, please come check out the full case study, available for download on Skydio.com. And to hear from Sam directly, please check out his recent appearance on our Recent Webinar: Accelerating your Part 107 Business with Skydio.