By Skycatch CEO Christian Sanz from Financial Post Business
When many people hear the word “drones,” they immediately think of privacy invading, scary, flying robots of the future. They don’t necessarily consider the many ways drones can dramatically improve the life of humans, animals, and the environment. One immediate way that drones are helping is with worker safety. In the public sector, drones can be used by police, firefighters, and even fighting poaching in Africa.
In the private sector, drones can be used for inspection, monitoring and workplace security across some of the world’s most important industries. Drones are being used in construction, agriculture, energy, and real estate and that list is growing. Just think of being able to send an unmanned drone to observe a flaw in oil pipelines or mines – we are now at a time where robotics can remove the need to risk human lives in extremely dangerous situations.
Drones will give incredible data that will revolutionize transportation and logistics, environmental monitoring, search and rescue, and many more use cases yet to be dreamed up. Providing real time ground truth will reduce traffic by helping drivers find the quickest route, help governments catch poachers in wildlife preserves, and allow workers to monitor the most hazardous work sites in the world from a safe distance, with a greater ability to prevent accidents than ever before.
While the drone space is getting crowded with juggernauts like Amazon and Google entering the realm, Skycatch is still a standalone in a number of key ways. The unique technology that Skycatch offers includes a completely autonomous UAV and ground station that captures data and immediately delivers it in real time. This real-time data delivery affords opportunities for quick reactions to dangerous situations where every second counts. It also provides immediate insights to enterprise. While admittedly the skies of the future might get crowded as companies like Amazon, even Facebook take to drone technology, we believe that as the space develops, new communication networks will develop to allow businesses to work together.
Further, with FAA regulations changing globally, the trajectory for drones and for Skycatch is soaring. With the new funding we recently secured, we are building out our existing business to include new high altitude, unmanned, fixed-wing gliders capable of perpetual flight. They will be able to gather location-based, data-on-demand at the request of clients, which holds enormous potential for many industries. Though the data currently mined is predominantly visual, with the advances in sensors, the future holds much more detailed and different opportunities for data.
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