Drones

Evans to attend the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo 2017

Evans Incorporated is excited to attend HAI’s Heli-Expo on March 6th through 9th in Dallas, Texas.  This is the largest rotocraft conference in the United States and we are eager to see what the rotocraft industry is doing with Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

As an emerging market, UAS use is blossoming in areas where companies can simplify routine inspections that typically are done by humans.  Using drones, these companies are able to take pictures and video of structures such as radio towers, power lines, oil and gas rigs, solar arrays, and other objects that can often be hard to reach.  There are numerous applications where using UAS decreases the risk to humans by eliminating the need for inspectors to scale these structures and put themselves in harm’s way.  Additionally, inspectors can often reduce the amount of time it takes to do an inspection because they can fly a drone quickly to the area needed to be examined.  Drones are being used not only for outdoor inspections, but also can navigate interior structures where space is tight.

At the Heli-Expo, Evans will be talking to Helicopter companies that have employed (or have wanted to employ) the use of drones for tasks that historically have been done by manned helicopters.  There are many overlaps between the helicopter and drone industries – after all, many drones (e.g. quad copters) are also rotocraft.

During this conference, we will be looking for companies that want help envisioning how drones can be used in their business model – and companies that need help figuring out if getting into the ‘drone’ business is something that has the right cost-benefit proposition for their organization.  Evans Incorporated is an award-winning company that provides human-centered solutions.  We also have a staff of aviation and drone experts that currently support the FAA’s implementation of UAS regulations.  So, not only can we provide support on organizational design and how to manage change in your organization as you adopt a drone program, but we can also design your drone program, train your pilots, assist with FAA’s required applications, and get you flying.

The Right Tool for the Job

With David Lee Roth playing on the radio, I am reminded that one should use “the Right Tool for the Job.”  This mantra can be used throughout life when it comes to finding the best instrument to complete a task.

As the UAS market grows, more and more companies will begin making specific platforms to satisfy user needs.  For instance, currently there are UAS platforms that support commercial operations, providing “the Right Tool for the Job” by providing a highly specialized, custom built, and potentially very expensive solutions.  But, businesses often struggle to integrate these tools into their company’s operations.

When looking to implement a UAS program that will fulfill a business need, supplement their workforce, or generate revenue, businesses are often left with few choices that may not fit their operational need.  They can invest a large amount of capital for a specialized and custom-built platform, purchase a consumer “Pro” model that may not be the right solution, or forgo the endeavor all together.  Essentially, there has been a gap in the market for UAS platforms that specifically focus on business operations in a way that simplifies integration at an affordable price.

As a leading UAS manufacturer, DJI has announced its line of enterprise models that appear to cater to the market for affordable, mass-produced, business related UAS platforms.  This is not a customized, one-off, six figure UAS platform; this is a production model much like their Inspire and Phantom lines that have become popular all over the world.  By designing this platform with specific focus on business use, they have opened the door for business, municipalities, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and many other small and large organizations to benefit from their use.

With this burgeoning market of affordable business class UAS platforms, businesses no longer have to emphasize cost and fit, but can focus on the use and benefits, such as usefulness, impact to efficiency, competitive advantage, and other investment related factors.  This is exactly what “the Right Tool for the Job” should do – make your job easier.

Chad Tyson, Senior Aviation Analyst at Evans

DJI Press Release

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dji-introduces-m200-series-drones-built-for-enterprise-solutions-300413659.html

Link from Mashable

http://mashable.com/2017/02/26/dji-m200-enterprise-drone-news/#OlFghjGGkiqb

What really stole the show during the Super Bowl – the drones.

Did you know that there were a number of firsts during this year’s Super Bowl? One football team made an epic comeback and Tom Brady… well, you know the story… But, the biggest first that occurred during halftime was the use of Drones!!! Perhaps Lady Gaga’s performance was also something to be appreciated, but I was particularly interested in the Intel “Shooting Star,” which was the first time that drones were televised as part of an entertainment event. And it was definitely entertaining, even if it was recorded the day before (consistent with federal regulations, specifically for UAS operations over people).

The Shooting Star isn’t your typical store-bought drone. 300 (or more) can be flown at once by a single pilot and the collective swarm can make over 4 billion color combinations to bring light to life in the sky for up to 20 minutes. What is even more fascinating is what this could mean for the future of the unmanned aircraft industry. We just saw Intel, one of the industry’s leading pioneers, put on a display that was only a fraction of what this industry is capable of. Recently, at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I saw amazing technological solutions that could perform a multitude of activities from delivering packages in less than 10 minutes to flying coast-to-coast without any human interaction – and that’s what is technically possible today (though not yet enabled by a still-evolving regulatory landscape). Beyond the current trend of using UAS primarily for pictures and video, the Super Bowl showed us that there are other possibilities that we might have not considered and, perhaps, problems that can be solved with UAS solutions if we opened our minds to them. And why not?  Like the cellphones we carry in our pockets, which now allow us to call anyone, order anything, replicate capabilities otherwise traditionally limited to personal computers, and/or perform a multitude of tasks with the swipe of our fingers, the future of UAS could become just as integrated into our existence as a smart phone.

I hope that colorful, elegant display of advanced technology inspires the next generation of Unmanned Systems thinkers and innovators. Who knows, maybe one day a drone will be your next taxi cab.

  • Andy Osantowske, Senior Unmanned Aircraft Systems Analyst at Evans Incorporated