As a Marine, my neighbor, Clay, learned to play by the rules. As an air-traffic controller today, he knows the rules when it comes to using unmanned aerial vehicles, a.k.a., drones. So when I learned that Clay had a drone, I asked if he would photograph my home. I wanted to see what my property would look like from the air. Being a responsible drone pilot, Clay would never have done this without my request. Knowing that commercial air traffic over our neighborhood hovers at around 3,000 feet, the 400-foot limit set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would provide ample safety. Clay noted that when flying his drone, he still diligently watches out for small aircraft that may be flying at a lower altitude.
The pictures Clay took were stunning. My Autodesk colleague, Product Line Manager, Guillermo Melantoni Cortabarria, agreed noted that they look so pristine that they appear to be from The Sims or 3D renderings. You can really see our solar panels without getting up on the roof.
It has really opened my eyes to how drones could be used. We've known for years that they can be used for:
- Creating fantastic shots (like mine) when selling commercial or residential real estate.
- Surveying land as part of cartography.
- Evaluation of insurance claims by companies (like Goosehead Insurance).
- Filming sporting events like golf or special outdoor events like weddings.
- Inspection of utilities like power lines in remote areas that have the potential to start forest fires.
- Checking irrigation systems as part of farming.
- Monitoring fencing and other perimeters as part of security systems.
- Special delivery of items like medicines across rugged terrain (see my blog post about Peru).
But seeing it for yourself is believing.
Autodesk has always been an automation company. Today, more than ever, that means helping our customers automate their design and make processes. We help them embrace the future of making, where they can do more (e.g., quantity, functionality, performance, quality), with less (e.g., energy, raw materials, timeframes, waste of human potential), and realize the opportunity for better (e.g., innovation, user experience, efficiency, sustainability, return on investment). Recognizing the benefits of technology related to Architecture, Engineering, and Construction is part of the opportunity of better.
Observation from above is alive in the lab.