The marketplace for commercial and industrial drone applications has grown enormously over the past decade. Many military drone makers have adapted larger drones for non-military use. At the same time, some popular consumer drones have evolved into multi-rotor drones appropriate for professional use.
Most drone applications today involve cameras and video that extend to the infrared and ultraviolet range. In professional markets, asset inspection has emerged as the most successful application. The Chinese company, DJI, has a strong hold on the consumer market and many industries also choose these low-cost drones for their inspection operations.
The development of sophisticated drone navigation and control systems has made drone operation easier and more precise. Capabilities like GPS stabilization and live 3D modeling for obstacle avoidance and autonomous operation can help automate and increase inspection and surveying accuracy in many applications.
The professional multi-rotor drones offered by a variety of suppliers improve on the performance and payload capacity of consumer drones. New potential applications include robotics and package delivery. Companies like Amazon, DHL, Federal Express, and even the US Postal Service are anxiously awaiting new drone traffic control technology and updated FAA rules.
Based on the results of a recent ARC web survey, supported by previous ARC research, this report will examine how companies are building new businesses and adapting to drone operating rules and improving technology for drone navigation, data collection, and data post processing. Many new drone-related service companies can provide the missing technologies needed to support new and innovative drone applications.
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Keywords: Drones, Asset Inspections, 3D Modeling, GPS, LIDAR, Data Analytics, ARC Advisory Group.