Recovery officials for the Oso, WA mudslide brought in teams from Insitu, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and PrecisionHawk, to survey areas of the disaster site that could not be examined through conventional means.
Thanks to the PrecisionMapper software provided by PrecisionHawk, the teams had been able to take 48 minutes worth of drone flight recorded video and create a 3D reconstruction of the 40 acres that had been filmed, in under 30 minutes. A high resolution rendering was then completed about three hours later, with additional video images added into the rendering. The on-site Incident Management Team and Washington State officials quickly learned the value of these drones and immediately saw the numerous, beneficial applications that these drones could provide.
Drones have been used to successfully save the lives of thousands of people each year. Take for example the search for the McStay family when they went missing in the early part of February, 2010. A single drone search can effectively replace 100 ground searches, which not only makes more efficient, but also greatly increases the odds of success.
It is not just search and rescue efforts that can benefit from this technology either. With drones starting to be used by more and more surveying agencies, they are showing that they can produce results in hours rather than days. They can be used by environmental officers to examine areas of operations, they can be used to evaluate safety concerns on a construction site, without putting anyone in harm’s way. They are not only saving time but also saving lives.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com