IF you thought drones were little more than a hobby for kids, then you might be shocked with how prevalent unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are in industries across the globe.
An average week for Global Unmanned Systems (GUS) in Hamilton Hill, which specialises in the application of UAV technology, could include filming footage of the Prime Minister on board a locally built patrol vessel, capturing images of a new maritime trail, working with Surf Life Saving WA to implement a monitoring program that will assist a lifesaver’s ability to spot hazards, working with the Timor-Leste government to establish a topographic baseline along the Comoro River, or collaborating with Murdoch University on innovative ways to measure the condition of whales.
Operations manager Robert Lednor says his small crew came together four years ago after identifying how drones could be used to save businesses time and money.
For them, drones were never a toy or hobby. “We always saw drones as just a tool,” he said. “For us, drones were just a means to get data.”
The GUS team evaluates where the value of a drone lies in an organisation and also collects and processes data to derive information for efficient decision making.
Mr Lednor said the aim was to derive insights “that aren’t just a drone image”.
“We’re moving towards a stage now where drones used to be a specialist tool,” he said.
“Now they’re pretty commoditised and more or less can be adopted as a tool by anyone.
“The industry’s moving towards specialists using their knowledge to train the next generation to use the tool.”