Driving past tall towers in my car, I always wondered what it would be like to climb one of those. After seeing this, I’m glad I don’t have to!
On this clear fall day, Kevin Schmidt climbed a 1500 ft. TV tower located about 30 miles west of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Fellow UAV pilot Joesiph Thorin from Prarie Aerial was there to capture some great video of Kevin’s amazing climb!
Note: Remember, kids be safe by NOT attempting this. Special permission is needed for high altitude quadcopter flights above 400 ft.
Watch the video below, and let us know what you think!
The construction industry relies on skilled labor, with problem-solving skills that are beyond reach of the most advanced robotics today. Nevertheless, UAV’s are already being used in strategic situations, to help inspect buildings more efficiently, and safely at construction sites using aerial imaging capabilities.
For example, Danis Construction based in Dayton OH recently acquired a DJI phantom drone, and had this to say:
“There are a lot of ways this could help us do things more safely,” said Rob Mauro, MEP coordinator for Danis. “Whether it’s surveying an unsound roof or some kind of situation where we need to set up scaffolding or where there’s risk involved, this could help.”
Beyond aerial inspections, and mapping, UAV’s can actually be used to build structures. In Switzerland, researchers have used a fleet of quadcopters to assemble a 6-meter tower by laying 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam bricks.
The installation involves a fleet of quadrocopters that are programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble the final tower, all the time receiving commands wirelessly from a local control room. The tower, which will boast a height of 6 meters (19.7 feet) and a diameter of 3.5 meters (11.5 feet), will be constructed within a 10 x 10 x 10 meter (32.8 x 32.8 x 32.8 foot) airspace, in which up to 50 vehicles can be tracked simultaneously
This video shows a swarm of quadcopters flying in coordinated formations, and even around obstacles. It demonstrates the huge potential for construction automation. In fact, Swiss researchers have programmed quadcopters to build a working rope bridge.
Worldwide, drones are helping construction companies save time, money and risk with data collected with aerial mapping and inspections. And with future advances in artificial intelligence, UAV’s may actually become master builders themselves!
Kevin Miller was piloting his drone and had a look above a 200ft. tall wind turbine. But he found a most unusual thing – a man was laying down on top of the windmill! Was he taking a nap? Sunbathing? Meditating?
Whatever the case, the drone seems to have spooked the guy.
Becoming a wind turbine inspector is an in-demand job these days. And judging from this video, seems like a low stress kind of a thing.
Watch this guy’s expression as the drone moves in for a closer look
$6 Billion Market Drones Inspecting Wind Turbines For Next 9 Years
A new study projects a huge spike in drone-based maintenance services for wind turbines over the next 9 years. This sector of the renewable energy market could reach $6 Billion (£4bn) by then.
The study was conducted by Navigant Research based in Colorado. If you’re considering a career change, check this out. Seems like a low-stress job, based on this video of a man on top of a 200ft wind turbine.
Read the article below, and share with a fellow pilot.
Drones may have a significant part to play in renewable energy, according to a new study, which found that drone-based maintenance services for wind turbines could amount to an industry worth nearly $6 billion (£4bn) in less than 10 years.
Colorado-based analysts Navigant Research, which focuses on emerging technologies, said it expected cumulative global revenue for wind turbine UAV sales and inspection services to reach that figure by 2024, with drones already gaining ground in this field, where they are proving “more than a novelty”.
Wind turbines, which typically stand hundreds of feet high, are in constant contact with the elements, and their blades require regular inspection to ensure they maintain efficient energy production, and to avoid the possibility of “catastrophic” blade collapse.
These inspections are currently carried out either from the ground, with limited effectiveness, or by access via ropes or platforms. Drones offer a middle option, Navigant said.
“Commercial-grade UAVs handled by professional operators can provide higher-resolution visual inspections than ground-based inspections,” the report explained. “They also provide an inspection that is quicker, easier, and less costly and risky than rope access techniques.”
Navigant added specialised drones are required for the task, since they must provide sharp optics and be able to maintain stability in strong winds.
“Equally important is the integration of data analysis systems and inspection services that can help automate data processing and analysis to mitigate the photo fatigue that can occur photographing, analysing, and cataloging vast blade surface image data across fleets of wind turbines.”
The market is already significant in size, with nearly 270,000 individual wind turbines operating globally at the beginning of 2015, with more than 800,000 blades spinning on these turbines, according to the company.