There is an urgent need for highly accurate and easily available field data that is reliable and relatively inexpensive to capture with minimal training.Most of us have become accustomed to the concept of Big Data and are aware of the tremendous potential they have in shaping the future of businesses. However, despite the existence of such data, its collection is not always easy. For instance, in large-scale industrial- or enterprise-class businesses, much of the data exists in the field. Field data capture has always been manual, labor-intensive, expensive and, because of the small number of data points, not very accurate.
There is an urgent need for highly accurate, easily available field data that is reliable and relatively inexpensive to capture with minimal training, that reduces the safety risk many field employees face and can be quickly distributed throughout the business. While several companies are striving to achieve a perfect balance in their solutions to solve this problem, the Menlo Park, California-based Kespry has been making quite a bit of progress.
Kespry is an aerial intelligence platform provider that develops drone hardware, software and cloud services that deliver a solution from the field to the finish. The Kespry industrial drone and aerial intelligence system is a popular choice among several enterprises including those in mining, construction and property insurance spaces.
The technology behind the solution
The Kespry hardware uses a lightweight carbon fiber airframe and a 3D-printed body. It includes a Sony photographic 35mm lens and forward facing Lidar for obstacle avoidance. There is a computer onboard for real-time autonomous flight management and a communications antenna that helps the drone to stay in contact with the communications hub.
The drone is managed from a supplied iPad with the Kespry app on it. It also includes a communications hub that houses Wi-Fi, 900 MHz radio, battery charging and LTE cellular data connection. The drone batteries are field-swappable and the cellular connection is included in the subscription.
“The mission is mapped on the iPad using the tip of your finger to mark the area you want to capture,” said David Shearer, VP of Marketing at the company. “A second polygon is indicated to mark a ‘safe zone’ that the drone will not fly beyond. You select your preferred flight height (affects resolution and time) using an onscreen slider and, after some onscreen safety reminders, hit go. That’s it. The drone will calculate the most efficient flight path, take off, capture the data, avoid any obstacles/adjust flight path in real time, and return within a foot of where it took off when the mission is complete. There are no joysticks and no flight skills needed. The drone is designed for self-directed flight in sustained winds up to 20mph and gusts of 30mph.”
The data captured is wirelessly and automatically transferred to the cloud. There are no SD cards or other peripheral devices. Once in the cloud, the data is post processed into topographically accurate photogrammetry and made available online to any authorized user. The data can also be exported to popular CAD and GID software.
What makes Kespry special?
Kespry is an industrial-grade solution that is fully automated from end-to-end. According to the company, it is different from rest in the market because Kespry designs and builds all its hardware, software and services in-house. This could possibly mean that the company has more control over minimizing errors seen in general interfaces while increasing accuracy and reliability, can adapt quickly, design the product for specific business needs and provide a solution with a single point of contact.
“On that note, what also makes Kespry special is our world-class Customer Success team,” Shearer said. “Kespry operates on a subscription model that includes dedicated Customer Success Managers. You have a direct point of contact you can go to who is an expert in GIS and can provide professional insight – not just someone to answer the phone. Our goal is maximum ‘up time’ and ROI, so we take care of any hardware of software issues for you.”
With companies constantly trying to drive their businesses forward and competitive environments continuing to intensify, the need for advantage through better data/insights, higher reporting accuracy, increased productivity and robotic automation steadily increases. This becomes even more relevant as various verticals embrace the concept of Industry 4.0 as the next generation of work. To Shearer, Kespry is delivering on that potential, and doing so with provable return on investment, increased productivity and greater safety for workers, among other things.
What could drive demand?