Robotics/unmanned systems

Best Practices for Starting and Scaling Aerial Robot Fleets

Using autonomous systems creates efficiencies, but, even more critically, it also allows engineers to be engineers.

Source: Commercial UAV News

Details about how drone-based site security can create efficiencies are readily available, but the benefits of the technology go beyond security. Those same advantages can be enabled for countless industrial inspections that are currently being manually conducted. These are the sorts of tasks that often require engineers to support them, but, by using aerial robot fleets, data can instead be seamlessly collected and streamed into workflows. Using autonomous systems for these tasks creates efficiencies, but, even more critically, it also allows engineers to be engineers.

Similarly, the safety impact that aerial robot fleets can enable is profound. Right now, individuals and teams are putting themselves at risk as part of work that could instead be done by a drone, which not only keeps those individuals out of harm’s way but also frees them up to do more valuable tasks. Drones can perform risky inspections autonomously, reducing the need for human exposure to dangerous conditions. The safety impact is also evident in how the technology can be used for autonomous incident response. However, the internal process to adopt these sorts of tools as well as the necessary program investments to make them viable can act as barriers.

Thankfully, the benefits that aerial robot fleets can enable are better understood than ever, making it worthwhile to push past these challenges. But how can stakeholders use these innovations to reduce risk for their organization? What does it mean to use them in a way that enables future growth and efficiency? Answers to these sorts of questions will always depend on the industry and application, but implementing best practices can empower individuals, teams, and entire organizations.

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