In recent years, automated drones have been responsible for major time and money savings as well as improved business processes, effectively revolutionizing the way many companies conduct their daily operations. Within a wide range of organizations in industries, however, there is probably no one more grateful for automated drones than those in charge of safety and security. After all, it’s not merely time and money these people are tasked with saving.
The advantages of automation
Drones have been gaining attention for their industrial applications for several years now, but it’s the automated versions of drones that represent the biggest benefits for industries including from oil and gas, mining, construction, agriculture, transportation and telecommunications.
An automated drone is one that requires absolutely no human intervention for the drone’s entire operation or data collection cycle. Once it’s been set up, it can launch, fly, collect data, transmit data, process data, land, maintain its own power supply and swap its own payloads or sensors with only the barest minimum of programming or maintenance.
As a result, automated drones are supremely reliable, always available and incredibly efficient, significant advantages when it comes to safety and security applications.
More secure security
There are two main components of industrial security: routine surveillance, and incident response. A UAV surveillance system, particularly the automated variety offered by leading drone manufacturers like Airobotics, excels at both.
Automated drones can be easily programmed to fly scheduled or preplanned missions in order to provide regular perimeter patrols as well as routine security sweeps. Real-time video and imagery can be transmitted to security personnel, and automated data processing can complete its own threat assessment.
Perhaps even more valuable than the scheduled security missions an automated drone is capable of flying, is its incident response. Since these automated UAVs don’t require a pilot, they can be automatically and instantly deployed in an emergency to provide unparalleled visibility into potentially dangerous situations, helping to protect security guards and additional personnel. Automated drones are also capable of both detecting risks – including intruders – and monitoring them, thanks to thermal imaging sensors.
Improved incident response
Security incidents aren’t the only type of emergencies that industrial operations have to contend with. Many organizations have huge amounts of critical infrastructure, much of which could pose a risk to people, animals or the environment in the event of a serious malfunction, such as a chemical leak, or an emergency situation such as a fire.
With automatic deployment, automated drones provide some of the fastest possible incident response, giving safety personnel essential information on developing situations. This speed of response and breadth of situational information could very well save the lives of employees, responders and potentially even civilians. Obviously, it could also greatly reduce the amount of damage a company’s facilities and the surrounding area sustains.
As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. A major part of daily operations in many industries is the detailed inspections that serve to ensure infrastructure and equipment are in good working order. This helps prevent full-on emergencies, and can detect even minor issues before they have a chance to grow into incidents.
Prior to the advent of drones, these inspections were largely undertaken by human employees. With automated drones these inspections can be completed much more quickly and efficiently and with greater detail – the powerful image processing programs these drones can be equipped with are capable of detecting potential issues that simply cannot be seen by the human eye.
Another huge benefit of automated drone-powered inspections is that by taking the responsibility for these inspections away from employees, the risk to those employees is eliminated. Much of the equipment and infrastructure that requires inspections, such as oil rigs and mining blast sites, present major hazards, as do the harsh weather conditions in which these inspections may need to be completed. Industrial automated drones are built rugged to withstand exactly these hazards and conditions.
The bottom line
When it comes to the use of industrial automated drones, discussion of the bottom line usually centers around the cost savings and increased revenue these UAVs offer to organizations. In the case of industrial safety and security, however, the bottom line is that they can help decrease risk, minimize damages, detect potentially dangerous situations, and even save lives. You can’t put a price on that. If you could, though, it would probably be the exact price of an industrial automated drone.