As further evidence that drones are becoming standard equipment on infrastructure inspection sites, ARE Corporation (American Rail Engineers), headquartered in Irvine, CA, has acquired a commercial drone company.
ARE acquired Media Wing, LLC, a New England based UAV/Drone Data Collection, dba AirShark, and Video Production Company. “The acquisition expands ARE’s industry-leading engineering, software development, bridge inspection services and nation-wide footprint to include unmanned flight operations, image analysis, GIS modeling and video rendering,” says an ARE announcement. The investment is a clear indication of the value that drone technology can deliver to engineering firms: cutting costs and time while increasing worker safety.
Dave Anderson, CEO of ARE, says: “We are very pleased to have Media Wing and AirShark as part of the ARE team. Bringing the companies together adds extraordinary value to the deliverables we provide and the ability for us to help our clients make informed decisions.” Fred Depuy, Founder of Media Wing, added, “each company embraces a culture of safety, professionalism, innovative thinking and continuous improvement that offers the market an exciting value proposition”.
In ARE’s video below, the team demonstrates the use of drones to perform an inspection on a railway bridge. Anderson says that the bridge inspection would normally take two or more days; but using drone technology the entire job can be completed in one day. It’s that level of ROI that is driving traditional industries like engineering and construction companies to adopt drone technology. The bridge inspection utilized multiple drones in order to allow engineers to view the asset both from the top down, and from the underneath looking up. Engineers viewed the data on monitors during the flight, so that they could adjust the angle and resolution of images in real time.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.