What Are Commercial Drones Being Used For?

This post originally appeared on http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/06/what-are-commercial-drones-being-used-for/.

[Editor’s Note: Biosecurity Queensland is using drones for surveying and monitoring pest populations.]

Following final approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Ninox Robotics is one of the companies who will begin commercial operations this month, deploying unmanned aerial systems for customised services to government, NGOs and private sector clients.

With the ability to detect animals, monitor plants or land areas, create detailed maps, improve fire management and search and rescue operations and provide surveillance, commercial drones are for more than just speeding up insurance claims.

Biosecurity Queensland leads the Queensland Government’s efforts to prevent and manage pest and disease threats, and is using UAS to test new capabilities for surveying and monitoring pest populations throughout the state.

LogiCamms, an engineering and consulting services company for minerals, metals, hydrocarbons and infrastructure industries, will rely on UAS for monitoring existing linear assets, as well as mapping remote assets and proposed infrastructure.

Ninox Robotics is also utilising its drones in partnership with Southern Downs Regional Council to monitor pest animal populations in the Southern Downs region of Queensland, along the state’s border with New South Wales.

Craig Magnussen, Pest Management Officer with Southern Downs Regional Council, said the Council is looking to put the technology to use in the pest animal control field, to accurately gauge populations and improve current practices.

“We are excited by the opportunities the technology presents, particularly in detecting animals over vast areas of inaccessible terrain and making traditional broad scale pest animal control methods such as aerial baiting and shooting more efficient,” Mr Magnussen said.

“Having witnessed some of Ninox Robotics’ early trial work, the Council and its partners in this project, Goondiwindi Regional Council and Granite Borders Landcare Committee are very pleased to be a part of the first commercial application of the technology,” he added.

All projects of these will be led by Ninox Robotic’ Chief Pilot Colin Smith — a former Major in the Australian Defence Force.

“Our team has completed a rigorous training process and we are thrilled to start putting this highly-advanced technology to work for businesses and government organisations across the country,” said Smith.

Marcus Ehrlich, Managing Director of Ninox Robotics says the initial three projects will offer a glimpse of the versatility and unique capabilities of the UAS in enabling more informed decisions, pre-emptive issue management and improved response, security and safety.

“The amount of interest we’ve received so far across different industries and levels of government signals that Australian businesses and landholders are eager to see how these drones can make a difference,” added Ehrlich.

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