The most interesting uses for drones today
A branch of Domino’s is set to become the first pizza delivery service to offer drones as a delivery method.
The pizza giant conducted a demonstration earlier this week in New Zealand. Why New Zealand? With its small population and relatively flat landscape, the nation was one of the first to allow commercial drone deliveries where many others continue to struggle against prohibitive airspace rules.
While Domino’s is confident that drone delivery will become a regular service, the rule that drones must be kept in sight at all times could still prove restrictive, unless this changes.
Drone delivery in the United States will be legal at the end of this month, provided they do not cross state lines or over people. Until then, here are some of the novel uses for drones currently occurring or being planned in the rest of the world.
Amazon Prime Air
In June this year, Amazon announced that it would team up with the UK government to test small delivery drones with the view to take orders weighing less than five pounds directly to customers in less than 30 minutes. The service is not yet operational, but Amazon is confident that it will become used worldwide.
DHL was an early player in drone delivery. Earlier this year, it completed a three month trial of its Parcelcopter, which successfully undertook 130 autonomous delivery procedures in varying conditions. The Parcelcopter is set to become commonplace for DHL.
The oil giant is using drones to in some of the biggest energy plants in Europe, since the sector is so high-risk. Many accidents have potentially been avoided thanks to this innovation.
Park rangers in Africa
A drone has been developed which can catch poachers in African national parks using thermal vision technology.
Various TV companies are attempting to utilise drones for filming – however, this hasn’t always worked out well. BBC journalists have previously been questioned after breaching safety protocols, and three Al Jazeera reporters were arrested when their drone was spotted trespassing.
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Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.