Unmanned systems insights

The core business of Unmanned Systems is and remains Inspection. The capability to deploy an affordable 'eye in the sky’ is no longer a novelty and is becoming self-evident for even more companies. Unmanned systems are offering unrestricted opportunities and solutions to capture and deliver high quality imagery and data, at a fraction of the cost of manned crews, making the process shorter, more accurate and safer. 
But air is not the only domain in which unmanned systems operate; going hand in hand with robotic systems, UxV’s and robots are capable of performing core activities in ground, water and underwater environments escalating the applications and uses to match the industry’s needs. 

The infrastructure sector used to working with technology, is now extending these skills and embracing the applications offered by Unmanned Systems and Robotics in al domains and examining the practices and opportunities that are opening up in the field. 

Drone as a service for Infrastructure

The growing drone market provides end to end solutions that encompass not only hardware but software solutions for specific applications. Reports show that 79% of drones are used for surveying, inspection and documentation of buildings and infrastructure. UAV’s have become an optimum tool for gathering large volumes of precise data and will, without a doubt become a part of  the day-to-day work in the infrastructure sector. 

The Third Digital Wave

Unmanned and Robotic Systems are currently riding the wave of digital transformation, where Artificial Intelligence and softwares are used to automate cognitive tasks performed by humans.  The industry is increasingly moving towards the use of AI and machine learning, allowing new technologies to gather data, identify patterns and make decisions without human intervention. 

We have gone a long way already, with systems like Google Home and autonomous cars making a huge step in that direction, many unmanned robotic systems still lack the capacity to evaluate things logically. The developments, however, are ongoing. The next step  involves evaluation using algorithms, thinking ahead, evaluating or enriching us through other information. 

A logical consequence of this is the development of automated interfaces for people. The main drivers behind unmanned systems with AI are invisible technology plus automated interfaces with data as the driver. Unmanned Systems have a huge business impact. According to Frank Dellaert ,CTO of  Skydio, flying autonomous drones  with AI is much more complicated than self-driving cars. It goes beyond the technology, as regulations for UTM are still being developed.

'Unleashing the power of robotics through AI’

Some interesting examples of robotic systems with AI are the Talking Elevators and Escalators by Kone and ISS’s evaluation of where large companies need cleaning. Kone’s product will indicate when an error may occur while ISS’s evaluates when and where cleaning may be required. This advances provide better customer service with algorithms controlling the decisions. 

Scientists and experts in the area insist that the faster unmanned systems and AI are adopted in the business process, the higher the impact will be. However, some fields where the stakes are too high, like the security robots used by the Ministry of Defense or where scanning a road or surface and repairing it is necessary, will still be dependant on manned systems. 

The automation brought by AI to different industries will deliver a significant impact on business. Where humans won’t be taken out of the game but rather become one half of robot-human collaboration; their jobs will become more efficient, time will be better managed and risks taken by employees in harsh environments will be reduced. 

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