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RDO INTEGRATED CONTROLS BLOG - April, 2017


Top 5 Reasons to Use Drones for Disaster Response

Top 5 Reasons to Use Drones for Disaster Response

When a disaster happens, it’s important to assess the situation and gather information as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, with the number of logistics to consider, the process can take longer to complete. This results in putting both those affected and emergency response personnel in greater danger. Thankfully, the advance of drone technology improve and speed up the process. Here are the top reasons anyone involved in disaster response should use an emergency drone for their operations.

1. Real-Time Assessment

One of the major advantages to using drones for disaster response is real-time assessment. Drones allow you to assess damage and complete rapid entry route planning for emergency response personnel in real time. This means emergency personnel reach the disaster quickly and safely – and also means those affected are attended to as soon as possible.

2. Thermal Scan Overlay

Another helpful feature of drone technology is the thermal scan overlay. Thermal scan from a drone overlaid on video and photo helps to quickly identify survivors. The information returned also helps to determine the best rescue plan. This benefits both survivors and emergency personnel involved in a disaster, and improves the overall survival rate.

3. Progress Monitoring and Reporting

Using an emergency drone for disaster response also means real-time progress monitoring and reporting for crisis management. Assessments are safely and quickly taken by the drone. This allows personnel to easily determine how effectively and efficiently the disaster response process is progressing and ultimately helps them make faster decisions if changes are needed.

4. Detection of High Risk Areas

Drones offer the ability to detect and isolate high risk areas within a disaster. This improves the safety of first responders by providing a complete overview of the scene and altering those of high risk areas that could threaten emergency personnel.

5. Damage Assessment Transfer

A damage assessment is a necessary part of disaster response. But it takes time to conduct and distribute between the necessary parties. By using drones, personnel quickly obtain a damage assessment. The assessment can then be quickly and easily transferred to other agencies, insurance interests, and other necessary parties.

To learn more about using emergency drones in disaster response, check out the drone technology offered at RDO Integrated Controls. Our experienced team is here to answer all of your questions.

 

December 2, 2015  |  Category:

How Mapping & Professional Video Drones are Changing Hollywood

How Mapping & Professional Video Drones are Changing Hollywood

Everyone’s heard about how drone technology is changing the way many industries operate. And when it comes behind-the-scenes for movie and video production, mapping drones are changing much more. With cinematography advancing to include exotic locations and cutting-edge action scenes, filming has not only become wildly expensive, but also increasingly dangerous. By leveraging the technology drones have to offer, production companies can excel their CGI and video methods, while saving money and improving their workers’ safety.

Improving Production without Increasing Cost

Technology has increased over the years, and so have the visual and special effects of movies. Production companies are now spending millions of dollars to get the perfect shot for the films. Often times this includes taking drastic measures, such as using a helicopter or cranes, which can cost a lot of money, use many resources, and take a lot of time.

Using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, allows production companies to fly over various situations to capture what is needed. Using a professional video drone for aerial cinematography means production companies save thousands of dollars in gas, avoid unsafe circumstances for workers, and get back the time that previously had to be set aside for one shot. All is needed is a drone and a pilot. And with the precise technology that drones have to offer, quality for the movie isn’t sacrificed.

Prioritizing Quality As Well As Safety

Making a movie can be dangerous. Directors, producers, and videographers are often forced to shoot in unsafe situations or scenarios in pursuit of the perfect shot. Through the use of drones, cameramen are no longer required to be put in danger for the sake of the movie. Professional video drone technology captures and produces the same material humans once did manually, but in a much safer way.

Because the operator of the drone is not physically tied to the drone, this allows for the drone to be used in a dangerous location while all people are left unharmed. And mapping drones are also able to scan and capture information about an entire area, providing production companies with verified information on whether or not it’s safe to proceed with the original film plans.

Location Shoot Planning

In order to get certain shots for films, the current process includes meshing together several photos that were taken on a standard camera. This is a long and inefficient process to achieve the desired outcome. But with the ability to preplan a drone flight and the orthomosaic results, a drone produces images with GPS location along with videos.  Drones can fly the site prior to shooting and provide data to populate a 3D model of a location shoot.  With that data model the studios can seamlessly plan the shoot from the office.

If you’re ready to improve many aspects of your movie and video production process, learn more about the mapping technology of our movie and production drones. With great options and unmatched expertise, RDO Integrated Controls will help you get the job done quickly, safely, and within budget.

 

November 30, 2015  |  Category:

5 Ways an Emergency Drone Changes Vehicle Accident Investigations

5 Ways an Emergency Drone Changes Vehicle Accident Investigations

After an accident happens, it’s necessary to conduct an investigation to determine what caused it and what needs to be done in the future to prevent further accidents. These investigations are often expensive, time consuming, and dangerous. However, drone technology is helping change that. Mapping drones will soon replace stationary total stations which will benefit us all, as drivers and as taxpayers. Here are the top 5 ways using an emergency drone is changing vehicle accident investigations.

1. Greater safety
For an accident investigation, the typical process includes having personnel at the accident scene, taking measurements while traffic is passing in nearby lanes. This is both dangerous and time-consuming. An emergency drone eliminates the need to have personnel moving about the accident scene. The operator can launch and land from a safe position near the accident, and never endanger themselves or nearby first responders.

2. Less incorrect or missing data
Accidents are real-time situations, meaning you can only gather data during that time. If your instruments malfunction or you lose data, there’s no option to go back and reshoot. With drones, you can fly over a scene, map thousands of points, and download your data to verify you have everything you need before even leaving the site. This avoids lost or incomplete data and ensures the accident is being thoroughly investigated.

3. Fewer traffic closures
It’s estimated by the U.S. Department of Transportation that accidents cost the U.S. approximately $28 billion every year due to lost time. Drones cut the time of an accident investigation down dramatically, especially for a fatal accident that requires a complete map. A drone can collect data and be on its way to the next site before a tow truck can even arrive. Plus, the drone operator is able to go to more accident scenes in one day, freeing up other law enforcement personnel to focus on other duties.

4. Greater accuracy due to no obstructions
When an accident happens and 911 is called, many personnel are called to the scene. On top of the active traffic and bystanders, this causes a very congested scene. Due to the many obstructions, collecting data from a live accident scene can be very difficult. But using drones allows you to accurately collect your data from the air quickly and efficiently.

5. Easier to prepare models
For a more complex accident scene where a stationary laser scan is required, you can combine a drone flight to provide additional points from the air and provide GPS positioning. The data from your drone will export and convert into Autocad and most other software providers. This allow for a higher quality accident model, along with greater efficiency back in the office.

If you’re interesting in learning more about using drone technology in accident investigations, check out the technology offered at RDO Integrated Controls. Our experienced staff is here to answer all of your questions.

 

November 20, 2015  |  Category:

Top 5 Reasons to Use a Drone for Bridge Inspection

Top 5 Reasons to Use a Drone for Bridge Inspection

Today, technology is continuing to impact many industries by improving processes and increasing safety and efficiency. Drone technology is no exception to this. From construction projects to accident investigations to aerial mapping in Hollywood, drone technology and survey drones have greatly improved how things are done. Check out the top five reasons why anyone involved in bridge inspections should be using drone technology to their advantage.

1. Aids in identifying faults and changes in the bridge disposition.
Detecting bridge faults and changes is very difficult to do manually. It can be time consuming and cause traffic limitations or closures. Due to the time-delayed 3D modeling and change detection features of drones, identification of faults and changes to the bridge disposition has never been easier.

2. Simplifies the inspection process of the underside of the bridge.
Without the use of drones, inspecting the underside of the bridge requires the bridge to be shut down to traffic. This is not only problematic for the bridge traffic, but can also cause a lot of congestion in other areas of town with traffic being rerouted. Conducting drone bridge inspection simplifies the process. Through the use of survey drones, the underside of the bridge can be inspected without upsetting traffic patterns.

3. Improves safety for workers.
When a bridge is inspected without the use of drones, it requires a worker to be suspended under the bridge or to the side of it. This can be extremely dangerous, depending on the size, location, and usage of the bridge being surveyed. By using drones, the need for a worker to be suspended is eliminated, allowing for improved safety and efficiency of the project. 

4. Collects information to create a 3D model of the bridge.
On top of the benefits of improved efficiency and safety. Using drones for drone bridge inspection allows for the creation of a 3D model of the bridge. Having a 3D model of the bridge aids in future development projects for that bridge and other bridge projects.

5. Allows for easy identification of high wear areas.
Identifying high wear areas on bridges is important to preserve the functionality and safety of the bridge. A drone improves this process through the use of thermal analysis. Due to high-resolution sensor systems, the bridge analysis will be very precise and give you detailed information without a manual inspection.

Interested in improving your bridge or structure inspection processes? Learn more about how our drones and other cutting-edge technology will help.

 

November 18, 2015  |  Category:

Maximize Your Project with a Construction Drone

Maximize Your Project with a Construction Drone

Many individuals in the construction industry are finding that construction drones have the potential to play a vital role in their work. From conducting construction surveying to capturing aerial photography to showing clients an overview of a completed project, drones are changing the way the construction industry runs. Here’s how the latest in drone technology will help your project and team be safer and more successful.

Monitor Your Construction Project from Start to Finish
Using drones in construction streamlines the project process and provides real-time insights.  Sensefly eBee drones use aerial survey and aerial imaging technology so you can survey and monitor all phases of your construction project – from site preparation to project completion.

Construction drones are also easy to manage, portable, and flexible in their ability to quickly obtain information from areas that are otherwise difficult to access. Using a drone with camera technology means you’ll immediately transmit accurate, high-resolution photographs and videos to construction management teams. This accurate cost and time saving process allows teams to review all aspects of the project, manage progress, and make appropriate decisions on the spot.

With the accurate and detailed imagery transmitted by drone technology, plans can be compared with actual construction, and each aspect of construction and assembly inspected for quality control. Plus, materials can be monitored and managed while surveying, mapping and 3D modeling tasks are more quickly and efficiently carried out.

Get the Job Done Safely
Because drones are able to access areas that are otherwise hard or dangerous to reach, you and your team will be able to safely collect the data and information you need. And with aerial survey and aerial imaging technology, construction drones also allow you to check on safe practices and site safety overall.

If you’re ready to have the highest level of accurate information for your construction project, learn more about construction drones. With the best options, expertise, and cutting-edge drone technology from RDO Integrated Controls, we’ll help you get the job done right.

 

November 9, 2015  |  Category:

Sugar Beet Surveying with Agricultural Drones


Reap the Benefits of Precision Crop Surveying with Agricultural Drones

It’s no secret that agricultural drones are becoming increasingly popular on America’s farms. And with sugar beet harvest season upon us, farmers want to make sure they have the best equipment and agriculture technology to measure their sugar beet yield accurately so they can make adjustments and plan accordingly. Read on to see how innovative agricultural drones are making precision agriculture more efficient and effective.

Giving You the Best Aerial Surveying Equipment
Accurate measurement of crop yields has never been more important. And with the latest drone technology, it’s never been easier. A senseFly eBee drone and its numerous camera sensors accurately measure both sugar beet pile volume and temperature, as well as monitor the health of a crop throughout the growing season. When you use the senseFly eBee drone for precision agriculture, you’ll obtain survey data you never knew you’d be able to get.

For example, the data from an agricultural drone allows you to proactively observe and identify unhealthy parts of the crop due to insect infestation, disease, weeds, irrigation deficiencies, or any other issues that affect crop production, such as spoilage within sugar beet piles due to overheating. See below for a thermal image sample taken with the senseFly eXom to determine temperature levels of a sugar beet pile.



Once specific clusters of beets reach above 55 degrees, they begin to rot and can spread spoilage throughout the entire harvest, attributing to large amounts of lost profits. Traditional methods of surveying these temperatures by hand are not very efficient or accurate. SenseFly drone technology provides growers a more efficient, accurate and cost-effective method for addressing the issue and protecting the value of their crop.

Providing High Resolution Imagery

With an agricultural drone, you’ll capture highly accurate images of your sugar beet fields, covering up to hundreds of hectares/acres in a single flight - without the cost and hassle of manned services. And the aerial imaging provided by an agricultural drone is conducted at a far greater resolution than satellite imagery provides, even when cloud cover is present.

By using senseFly’s post-flight software included in their drone systems, you can then transform these dynamic aerial images into actionable data. The software easily applies algorithms to generate vegetation indices such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). This data map is key to boosting yields, cutting costs, and driving your sugar beet crop forward. It highlights exactly which areas of crop need closer examination – meaning less time spent scouting, and more time treating the sugar beet plans that really need attention.

Collecting Accurate Data at Your Fingertips

Having this immediate and detailed data at your fingertips allows you to assess your sugar beet crop in real-time, so you can quickly and accurately gauge the health of your crop, severity of any kind of weather impact or damage, and beyond. This way, you can plan for the appropriate chemical treatment, fertilizer and more.

Ready to make the most of your sugar beet crop this harvest season? Learn more about the agricultural drones and other cutting-edge agriculture technology available from RDO Integrated Controls.

 

November 6, 2015  |  Category:

RDO Integrated Controls Approved by FAA to Fly Drones


We’re excited to announce that RDO Integrated Controls has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate drones to conduct mapping, training, agricultural, and survey applications. As an authorized senseFly distributor, we buy, sell and support various drone units for customers across a wide variety of industries. This new exemption means we’ll be able to better serve our customers and help expand advancing drone technologies across an array of industries.

About the Approval
The FAA approval we received comes in the form of an exemption to Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. This covers the operation and registration of aircraft in the national airspace. The exemption grants authorization for certain drones to perform commercial operations at or below 200 feet by a drone operator. The aircraft must weigh less than 55 pounds, and the flight must occur during the daytime and be conducted within visual line of sight of the pilots. The flight also must maintain a certain distance from airports or heliports.

Steps toward Expanding Drone Technology
Fewer than 2,000 Section 333 exemptions have been granted nationwide to date, so our team is thrilled about this approval. Our Mapping/UAV Product Supervisor, Matt Hayes, expressed his excitement, saying, “We are extremely pleased with the news. Receiving our exemption is a positive step towards expanding the benefits of this technology within the commercial marketplace.”

Are you ready to see how drone technology from RDO Integrated Controls can work for your business? Learn more here.

 

October 23, 2015  |  Category:

Drone and Pile Driver Solutions for the Solar Technology Industry

Drone and Pile Driver Solutions for the Solar Technology Industry

Renewable energy sources are increasingly important contributors to the world’s available energy. Solar energy is one of these sources, making solar technology a growing industry.  There are many technologies available for solar applications, and two of the most cutting-edge, reliable, and efficient solutions include pile drivers by Carlson Machine Control and solar drones from Sensefly.

Carlson Pile Driver Systems for the Solar Industry
Carlson Machine Control provides site management solutions for landfills, mining, piling and other industries. Carlson Pile Driver Systems are complete with 3D machine control and positioning technology. Using this system is a simpler application.
While piling workflow has traditionally been a process requiring staking, marking, and trial and error, the new 3D solar-powered systems allow contractors to benefit from high accuracy navigation, positioning, and easy-to-use software with advanced features.

How Carlson Pile Driver Systems Increase Production and Quality Control
Contractors are able to increase production by entering patterns in their field and navigating to the hole and position piles more accurately. Contractors can also store previously driven piles in an effort to get an improved interface.

The detailed reports available from this tool allow you to see real-time data, such as average pile time, average azimuth, number of piles driven, and more. This information gives contractors an accurate, visual plan for their projects and helps determine what they need to do to be more efficient. With its accuracy and ease-of-use, Carlson pile drivers empower piling contractors improve production while lowering cost and increasing safety at the same time.

Drone Applications for the Solar Industry
Drone technology has evolved and reached new horizons for use in solar technology. Solar drones are revolutionizing the way topography surveying and panel monitoring are done.

How Solar Drones Use Pre-Installation Topography Surveying
Before any construction or installation of a solar field is started, the terrain must first be surveyed and analyzed. Solar drone technology provides more accurate, cost-effective aerial surveying than traditional aerial surveys.

Solar drone aircraft, such as the SenseFly eBee and eXom, fly at lower altitudes and slower speeds, which allows for more precise data collection. Solar drones also offer the ability integrate green technology operations.

Pictured below is a one-foot topography map generated for a renewable energy company prior to installing solar panels within a 200 acre parcel near Boise, Idaho. This data was collected with the Sensefly eBee solar drone at an altitude of 375 ft. with a vertical accuracy tolerance of 2.5 to 4 inches.

As you can see, the data obtained is incredibly accurate. It’s collected at high resolution and is much more cost-effective than alternative aerial survey options. 

How Solar Drones Provide Benefits for Post-Installation Solar Panel Monitoring
Solar drones with thermal cameras are extremely effective at monitoring the productivity of solar panels on both the ground and structures. Solar panels are a prime candidate for this type of solar technology.

The senseFly eXom multirotor system uses an intelligent, on-board thermal camera. This allows an individual to establish tolerances and thresholds to oversee the efficiency of solar panels throughout their lifespan. It also eliminates the need to place personnel in dangerous positions, such as on top of roofs and tall structures.

Below is a sample data set of solar panels mapped with the eXom thermal camera.


In the image, you can see the solar drone’s sensors capture various levels of heat signatures reflecting off surfaces, providing the most accurate visual representation of where heat sources are.

Get High Quality Solar Technology Solutions
The advances in solar technology are growing. If you’re ready to improve efficiency and accuracy with your pile driving or surveying project, check out details about our pile driving products and solar drones at RDO Integrated controls. Visit our website to learn more.

 

October 21, 2015  |  Category:

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