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Member Articles

Handling data from drone inspections: 5 costly mistakes you might be making

Do you avoid these mistakes when handling your inspection data? If yes, then lucky you – because real money is on the line. Hint: It’s no lie that time is money. #1: No geo references If you don’t geotag your images, you're probably missing out – and your clients and work partners probably are too. Associating an image with an exact position and notes about issues – and being able to move your focus and zoom in and out with your mouse on a map, and see exactly the annotations and images associated with the part of the map you’re looking at – that makes things both easier and faster than doing everything manually. Here’s the way we like to do things, explained in short introduction videos: Image Inspection Tutorial #2: Spending too much time analyzing Of course, if you hired someone to analyze your inspection data for you, you would have some amount of expenditure for that. But what if they could do it quicker t... Read More »

36 Tech Barristers launch their dedicated service offering for the drone sector

36 Tech Barristers were very happy to join the Drone Major community this month as its only supplier of legal services, and a leading supplier of legal services in this multi-faceted, multi-jurisdictional sector. 36 Tech Barristers is a part of 36 Group Barristers Mediators and Arbitrators of 36 Bedford Row. This is a barristers’ chambers steeped in history but modern in approach. 36 Group provide legal services directly to businesses or to their own lawyers in a wide range of disciplines, including contracts, regulation, crime and commercial law. A full description can be found here. The 36 Tech division works in the area of technology, e-commerce and digital media. Joining Drone Major marks the division’s concentration on the commercial use and application of drones and drone technologies. It is an obvious area for 36 Group to work in with specialists with established practices in the area of aviation, and technology, as well as the many related disciplines that imp... Read More »

VideoDrone Finland proudly releases a new version of their octocopter VideoDrone X8L

VideoDrone Finland has reached a new record with their X8L model in its category. The X8L octocopter has become lighter and the new propulsion system means excellent performance. The flight time grew by 70%, payload by 25% and the octocopter’s dead weight is now 8% lighter.   The maximum flight time is up to 55 minutes and the max. payload is 2.5kg. So far this is unbeatable in this category (MTOW below 7kg).   The advantage of X8L compared to X4S is the stability in strong gusty winds. Longer flight times mean more time for inspections, mapping, surveillance etc.   “We are offering tailored solutions to our customers as well as support throughout the life cycle. Customers can expect nothing more than top quality and service“, says CEO Juha Tolvanen.   VideoDrone X8L‘s flight time relative to the payload’s weight is shown in the picture. Click here for more information. Read More »

AERIALTRONICS releases the new version of its intelligent camera AERIALTRONICS PENSAR

AERIALTRONICS releases the new version of its intelligent camera AERIALTRONICS PENSAR   AERIALTRONICS, a brand from DRONE VOLT Group, officially launches the new version of its PENSAR camera-computer driven by artificial intelligence. A true technological feat, PENSAR is one of the world's first platforms with dual spectrum digital vision that allows real-time analysis of images or data. Infinitely customizable, it can be mounted on a professional drone, mobile robot or used as an independent camera.   One of the world's first dual spectrum digital vision platforms with real-time analysis   PENSAR, developed in AERIALTRONICS' artificial intelligence laboratory, is one of the world's first dual spectrum digital vision platforms dedicated to real-time data analysis using a miniaturized NVIDIA® embedded processor with 1.5 teraflops of power. Its computing power, accelerated by the NVIDIA® Jetson™ GPU processor in the NVIDIA&re... Read More »

UKRSpecsystems introduce PD-1 VTOL module

The PD-1 fixed-wing drone has been upgraded to a completely new level! We are proud to introduce a VTOL module that converts any PD-1 drone to vertical take-off and landing aircraft!  The VTOL module can be installed on PD-1 drone right in the field. This upgrade does not require any special modifications and you will not need to send UAV back to the factory. Our truly modular design opens new possibilities and allows to add and remove system modules on-the-go.  PD-1 with VTOL module has wing-span of 5 meters and can stay in the air same 10 hours with 10 kg payload onboard. Take-off and landing processes are controlled by autopilot and done in fully automatic mode.  PD-1 VTOL is fully compatible with all our EO/IR payloads and supports a wide range of third-party equipment, such as SAR, LIDAR, radio repeaters and much more.  On the opposite side, the VTOL module can be easily removed from the drone and you can operate the same airframe as a standard... Read More »

No Roads, No Problem

Originally published on xyHt. A unique drone (the WingtraOne) helps a team meet the environmental challenges of planning a wind farm in the Alps. At a lofty altitude of 2500m above sea level, 20 wind turbines 100m tall need to be built. These wind turbines will produce 60 GWh per year to power 15,000 households. The engineering challenge is twofold: With the construction site in the middle of the mountains, there are no roads to access it, nor is there any pre-existing data for site planning of the wind farm, which is 800 ha (nearly 2,000 acres) large. This is the challenge that Swiss engineering company Cavigelli Ingenieure AG faced in the Swiss Alpine valley of Lumnezia. While mapping and 3D modelling large areas with high accuracy is a routine task for geospatial applications, the hilly terrain, high altitude, and quickly changing weather conditions in the mountains brought additional constraints. Keeping in mind the need for flexibility and low cost, the company... Read More »

Parazero: Enabling the drone market to operate everywhere, safely

We have been hearing of drone crashes and safety incidents on an almost weekly basis. The solution is provided by ParaZero a company that specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of drone safety solutions for commercial drones of different shapes and sizes. The company is confident that their solution will enable the drone industry to realize its full economic potential. You can call them Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), miniature pilotless aircraft or flying mini robots, but there is no doubt that drones are rapidly growing in popularity. Even though drones have been on the market for many years and many see them as a great gadget, they are quickly becoming an essential tool for various commercial applications. Today, for example, drones can be equipped with high-quality cameras and sensors that have created new markets. We see a clear evolvement into the commercial sector. In this sector, the impact of drones in the workspace is the most significant. The value... Read More »

Scopito: Creating a tag line for the leading company of its field

In this letter, we will present some thoughts about what Scopito wants to be in relation to the rest of the drone industry. At Scopito we cooperate with UAV pilots, asset managers and maintenance people from all over the world, on developing our software platform in a direction that will make sense for the actual users of the platform. A few days ago, we threw a small employee workshop at Scopito. We set a watch timer and every employee spent five minutes writing down ideas for a new company tagline/pay off on post-its. We then spent an hour evaluating the suggestions, and within this hour we became increasingly aware of the direction that we wanted Scopito to go and the direction Scopito was going. Which luckily is the same direction. But what is that direction? It can be described in the following points: - We want to create what people need. This may seem obvious, but actually doing it means that we have to actively cooperate with customers, stay in touch and find an int... Read More »


Level 3 – Drone Technology in the Construction and Engineering Environments It is clear that the employment of drone technology in the construction and engineering industries has advanced to a considerable level. Commercial sense dictates that companies utilise the benefits of aerial data capture to improve the margins and competitiveness of their sites. Combine this with the ability to avoid working at heights and the associated costs and safety implications, then the question is not “why should we use drones?”, but “why aren’t we using drones?”. This is a much easier question to answer! There is a lot to consider when using any new technology on a construction site. Whether you choose to run your own drones in-house or subcontract the work to a specialist, you need to appreciate the technology, limitations, legislation, cost and safety implications. Not all of this information is easy to assemble or understand; it’s scattered around dif... Read More »

SalusUAV have trained more people than ever and made breakthroughs in their R&D programmes

2017 was a strong year for SalusUAV; we trained more people than ever and made important breakthroughs in our R&D programmes. Training – Because we are all professional pilots, we train our clients to operate their drones to the same high standards as professional pilots operate their aircraft. Of course, we want to be a successful business, but we also want the drone pilots we train to be the best and most successful in the industry. Our instructors are all experienced professional airline and military pilots as well as being experts in human factors and critical decision making. Unlike most drone training courses, we instruct from the angle of Human Factors and Safety. What we have learned in manned aviation allows us to show you how to operate your drone to the highest possible standards and reduce the potential for human error, the cause of 80% of accidents. We share the CAAs belief that PfCO courses should not be tick in the box exercises, but courses which will fu... Read More »

VideoDrone announces PPK solution for precise geotagging

VideoDrone Finland has announced a solution which promises accuracies at the 1-3cm level. The main purpose is to minimize or even eliminate the need for ground control points, thereby reducing costs. VideoDrone tested several RTK and PPK technologies suitable for UAV use. The tests clearly demonstrated that RTK is very vulnerable to the signal loss. RTK requires a stable radio link to receive base station data, which limits the range of the operation, can be prone to GPS signal blockage and will lose correction data with radio link outages, particularly due to the UAV flight dynamics, signal obstructions or long distance. Post-processing kinematic (PPK), in turn, logs data in the UAV and processes with base station data after the flight. There is no data loss or initialization loss as in RTK due to radio link limitations. All collected data is processed with similar algorithms to RTK, but forwards and backwards through the data. This ensures the most robu... Read More »

Approaching 2018: How was the year of 2017 for Scopito?

Approaching a new year, at Scopito we will look back on 2017 as a good year. As a startup that started making software about one year ago, with a background of building drones a couple of years back, and after that shifting to making drone inspections, we know how much can happen in the first year of business. Our founder, Ken Falk, decided to make software for drone inspections because of he, being a drone inspector himself, felt a lack of a way to handle all the data and images captured on inspections. And even though it took longer than expected to really get the wheels going for our software company, luckily it has become clear that our founder is not the only one who sees the need for software that makes handling the inspection data simple and effective. And at Scopito we actually believe this to be the part of the value chain with the highest potential for profit margins for drone operators. Here are some of the things we will remember 2017 for - DroneDeploy contacted us... Read More »

UKRSpecsystems Future Plans: PD-1 Fixed-Wing VTOL Upgrade

I am looking at the drone market and wondering where we should move next. When we were creating the PD-1 UAS, it was something that our country was lacking at the time. The concept was almost 20 years old, but something Ukraine was missing at that point. Later on, we got our concept proven when the PD-1 become a one of a kind UAV in service in the Ukrainian army. Now we are moving forward. We are starting to enter civil markets, offer services to agriculture companies and now we are currently working on an inspection project for one of the biggest gas and oil companies in Ukraine. We are getting great results and positive feedback from our clients, comparing to smaller drones we do more with better quality and simply faster. The biggest issue, however, is takeoff and landing. Even while we are using pneumatic catapult launcher and parachute recovery it takes additional time for flight preparations and involves additional risks, which we are currently trying to eli... Read More »

WingtraPilot Release 1.6 – a Huge Step in Mission Planning

In November 2017, Wingtra brought their users a game-changing software update. “The latest flight planning improvements will make a big difference for our customers. Especially those who rely on WingtraOne for complex mapping and surveying missions in difficult terrain” – says Armin Ambühl, CTO of Wingtra. And that is true –  extended flight planning possibilities, simplified operations and increased safety make the recent WingtraPilot 1.6 release the most significant software upgrade ever. Swap the batteries during long missions WingtraOne already comes with an area coverage of 400 ha in a single flight. But now it is possible to fly even longer with just one planning session. With the new “Swap and Resume” battery feature, our users can plan large survey missions without worrying about the range or flight duration. During the mission, WingtraOne automatically returns to home position once low on the battery.... Read More »

Connected Intelligent Drones through Precise Prediction's IoT Cloud

About Precise Prediction Our experienced team has been working with Big Data & Machine Learning before most people had ever heard of these concepts. There is a lot of talk about leveraging Big Data, Data Mining, Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning. We will guide you through all aspects and pitfalls along the way, and help you make YOUR drone or drone-project more profitable. We have been solving the world’s analytics challenges since big data was just a stack of floppy disks. Introduction to Connected Intelligent Drones Imagine if your drones were connected to a Machine Learning cloud that made them intelligent - the solution for that is the Precise Prediction IoT cloud. With our sensors and IoT cloud, we can make your drones intelligent, by building and installing Machine Learning models on the drones. It could be that the drone will automatically fly back for maintenance if needed. If, for example, the drone... Read More »

New​ ​LED​ ​rangefinder​ ​with​ ​60​ ​meter​ ​range weighing​ ​just​ ​9​ ​grams!

November 15th, 2017, Saint Genis-Pouilly, France: Sensor and sensing solutions company, Terabee, has announced the latest addition to their line of lightweight, small-size, low-cost distance and ranging sensors. Ideally suited to drone use, the new TeraRanger Evo sensor weighs just 9g (12g with communication board) but can make distance readings at up to 60m range! Rather than laser, the sensor uses LED technology. Ease of use has always been a key feature of TeraRanger sensors and Evo is no different. There are no calibrations, compensations or data translations to do, so the sensor is essentially plug and play, streaming distance values in digital format. Adding to the ease of use is the clever two-part construction where the black coloured optical sensor module simply clips to the yellow coloured backboard for power management and communications. Two backboards are available; UART/I2C or USB, but custom backboards can be made on request. Greg Watts, Commercial Manager at Terab... Read More »

How drones may be stealing the show on bonfire night

There’s something about bonfire night; the sound of fireworks, the smell of the sulphur, and the vivid colours that light up the night sky. But they’re dangerous. They’re expensive. And you can only use them once. Maybe drone technology finally offers us a commercially viable alternative? At this years’ launch of ‘Wonder Woman’, Intel’s Shooting Star drones delivered a spectacular display to the skies above LA that got spectators wondering whether drones could actually take the place of the humble firework. They’re safer, they’re reusable and can be precisely programmed, making them a lot more cost-effective. They can also be even more closely choreographed for visuals that truly astound. Disney, who spend a rumoured $50m a year on their world-renowned firework displays, have already been talking to Intel about the possibility of using drones for their light shows. It’s companies like these that stand to make some ser... Read More »

Recent News: Graduates of SalusUAV Training Win National Recognition

The First University to Win a Clean Sweep of Awards Team Bath Drones were the first attendees of the SalusUAV Higher Education and Research Course. We are proud that they have gone on to be the first team ever to achieve a clean sweep at the IMechE competition, winning the following prizes: Innovation (sponsored by QinetiQ), Design (sponsored by GKN Aerospace) and Overall Grand Champions (sponsored by Northrop Grumman). Read More »

1000 drone pilots covered (and counting...)

Just 18 months since take-off, Moonrock Drone Insurance – which specialises in drone insurance, underwritten by Hiscox, for commercial pilots – has safely landed its 1000th insurance policy. For Moonrock’s CEO Simon Ritterband, the growing success of the product vindicates what he saw as a potential opportunity when his builder turned up with a drone. “I was working in property when I had a call from my builder who said I had some roofing issues with one of my buildings. He sent a drone up to take a closer look. That sparked my interest in drones so I went to a drone expo, caught the buzz and immediately signed up to get my commercial pilot’s licence.” Limited insurance choice Licence secured, Ritterband realised that the market to buy liability insurance – a legal requirement for all commercial drone pilots – was limited. “Existing policies could be 60 pages long and were largely adapted from more general aviation insurance c... Read More »


DJI’s Matrice 600 (M600) is DJI’s high-end commercial drone designed for professional aerial photography and various industrial applications. M600 is DJI’s heaviest drone can carry up to 6 kg of payload reaching a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 15.5 kg, carrying various payloads worth up to thousands of dollars. The M600 itself comes equipped with several redundancies such as the A3 autopilot self-adaptive flight systems that adjust flight parameters and six batteries that can be turned on and off with a button and the drone will stay in the air if one fails. However, the M-600 drone is still prone to many other risks both mechanical and software, that could lead to a potential crash. That is why an expensive investment like the M-600 requires a safety net – a backup system that would provide recovery when all else fails. Parazero is a drone safety solutions company, specializes in the development and manufacturing of innovative safety systems f... Read More »