Given how much writing I have been doing about both productized analytics and digital twins, it was fascinating to take a look at Kespry's Drone-as-a-Service offering, which brings to life a novel integration of both of these concepts in an exciting new domain. Drones can provide businesses with types of data they've never had access to before, enabling decision makers to have a more complete picture of their operations. Last week, I had the chance to talk with George Mathew, CEO of Kespry, about the logic driving his products and the impact of the new FAA regulations that have opened up many new possibilities. Over the past decade, we've grown accustomed (if not always comfortable) with drones being used in warfare to protect human lives. But the use of drones is greatly expanding into the commercial and private sector, as well as our everyday lives.
It has revealed two new models -- Parrot Bluegrass for agriculture and Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal, for thermal imaging. The Bebop-Pro Thermal has a thermal imaging camera coupled with a regular video camera, which will track the sources of heat and help firefighters rescue people caught in burning buildings. The Bluegrass model will have special sensors to help farmers monitor their fields. Both drones will have long-range remotes that will allow users to remotely control them. The company claims that the Bluegrass drone can cover 74 acres of area on a single charge.
Americans could see a lot more drones flying around their communities as the result of a Trump administration test program to increase government and commercial use of the unmanned aircraft. President Trump gave the go-ahead Wednesday, signing a directive intended to increase the number and complexity of drone flights. The presidential memo would allow exemptions from current safety rules so communities could move ahead with testing of drone operations. States, communities and Native American tribes selected to participate would devise their own trial programs in partnership with government and industry drone users. The Federal Aviation Administration would review each program.
Intel has introduced a company-branded commercial drone, the Falcon 8, for North American markets, with the aim to lead in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market, particularly in the commercial segment. The chip maker has been looking at new opportunities for its silicon and other technologies outside its traditional markets like PCs, more so after its lackluster performance in the smartphone market. It has already dabbled in the consumer drone market through Yuneec's Typhoon H, which uses Intel's RealSense computer vision platform for intelligent obstacle navigation. Intel has also introduced the Intel Aero Platform for developers to build their own drones. The opportunity for Intel is that many countries including the U.S. are slowly liberalizing rules for the use of commercial and consumer drones.