"We are on a revolutionary sensor and
software development path that is seeing
us into an era of autonomous data delivery"
It's not the delivery of parcels we need to think about just yet, the most adventurous aspect of "drone delivery" through 2015/16 will be the autonomous delivery of intelligent data captured by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) in the commercial sector.
The ability for Project Managers to order UAV surveys through dedicated on-site networks, will see small UAV's being automatically deployed to perform their own risk assessment, site survey and flight plan. They will take off from their rural or urban station, fly to their data points on site, and then survey the chosen structure, land or asset. But what will be the enabler for such a futuristic scenario?
BIM - Building Information Modelling
BIM has been around since the 1970's but it's recent spotlight through government regulations and initiatives has seen a boom in the industry and a very niche market open up. Team UAV already provide BIM data services through the use of UAV's and dedicated 3D modelling software so we can see the revolution in the industry about to take off - literally, in a big way.
P-BIM or Progressive Building Information Modelling as we call it, is a concept Team UAV are currently trailing. It's the "how it was done" which adds to the bigger picture of the BIM data set. The data itself is represented as a time lapse, interactive, three dimensional model of any worldwide building project, forest regeneration, bush fire, natural disaster relief effort or infrastructure project - overlaid with a wealth of intelligence that can be accessed by anyone, anywhere on any platform and then dissected and interacted with. The data is captured through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and then placed onto the BIM "map", this gives everyone involved with the project an easy to operate data management service.
Knowledge is Power. Sharing knowledge, as we know is the key to not just a successful project, but a whole host of relative factors such as workforce morale, focus, determination and confidence. The workforce matter, It's the workforce that deliver the project and if everybody in the project knows what is going on, then the project can flow naturally. This is where P-BIM differs from any other data source known; it gives everybody access to the big picture wherever they are or whatever stage they are at. It allows transparency and the free flow of information through an unequivocal data source - which ultimately adds intrinsic value to the bigger BIM picture and national infrastructure concept.
So, how are these UAV's working amongst us?
At the moment autonomous navigation and operation is somewhat of a red herring, yes it's out there on commercial UAV's but in its very basic form. There's a short leap to be made from where we are now, to full autonomy - and the leap will rely on the integration of autonomous UAV's into the international airspace. I often change my opinion on how UAV's have been integrated but lately, my opinion has been that the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) have been wise in their decisions - slow; yes in some regard, but we must remember that the decisions they make in regards to integration have the ability to influence future operations on a global scale, and in particular; the safety of air transport and our lives as air passengers. The FAA should be commended for not jumping the gun and letting loose UAV's into airspace, and the CAA should be commended for de-conflicting airspace users in such a short amount of time. There's lessons to be learnt from everyone moving forward and it will take an international effort from aviation authorities, UAV manufacturers, software developers and service providers to make a fully autonomous airspace evolve.
Normal jogging for now then, at least until we're all immersed in an fully autonomous era of "drone delivery". Lets not take our eye off the ball just yet, there is a wealth of intelligence to be gained from BIM and P-BIM, and we're at the forefront of a truly explosive and disruptive marketplace that will change the way we think and use data in industry.
If you would like to find out more about P-BIM or the services we provide then feel free to be in touch with me directly or send us a message.
An intelligent future awaits!