Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology developer Skyfish recently introduced the company’s computing platform for commercial drones that fully automates crucial infrastructure inspection and measurement tasks for the first time, giving drone service, communication infrastructure, and energy providers unrivalled performance and accuracy. The Skyfish platform was originally unveiled at the Commercial UAV Expo Americas conference earlier this month in Las Vegas. Skyfish supports DJI and PixHawk flight controllers and other popular drone architectures, as well as 3D modelling software from companies such as Bentley Systems Inc.
Skyfish provides a smarter platform so anyone can fly, inspect, and model complex infrastructure with an easy-to-use interface, according to a company press release. The platform also pre-processes the collected infrastructure data and metadata to help create impeccable 3D models.
“The proven Skyfish solution is unlike any available commercial drone technology,” said Skyfish CEO, Dr. Orest Pilskalns. “Our full stack platform provides unparalleled control over hardware, software, sensors, and onboard computing power for ultimate flexibility and real-time customization. Skyfish autonomous systems can navigate almost any location including radio-denied areas that exist close to cellular towers, high-voltage power lines, and many other industrial environments. Users can quickly install and integrate the small-form, on-board computer with existing robotic, optical, thermal, navigational, radar and LiDAR devices and systems, then generate useful flight plans with very little training. The result is an easily deployable system that produces hyper-accurate 3D models and orthomosaics that can be utilized immediately to measure and monitor infrastructure or inventory more accurately and more frequently than ever before.”
“The Skyfish platform represents a sea-change in commercial drone technology for infrastructure inspection, measurement and analysis,” said Mike Barkasi, Project Manager at infrastructure software development company Bentley Systems. “For our infrastructure customers that want to enable the benefits of drone sourced data – but need engineering grade accuracy for their 3D modeling – I believe leveraging both the Skyfish and Bentley platforms together is a good answer.”
“As a leader in the unmanned aerial system (UAS) industry since 2013, Vision Aerial’s been waiting for a well-designed, autonomous solution that provides both precision navigation and built-in sensor integration,” said Shane Beams, CEO at Vision Aerial. “Skyfish delivers exactly that.”
The Skyfish Platform
Available now to selected, early adopter customers, the Skyfish platform comprises:
- SkyNode: The application-specific, onboard microcomputer controls the Skyfish system (and any Pixhawk 2.1 or DJI A3-based airframe.)
- SkyControl:Flight planning software facilitates the creation and execution of complex flight plans in just a few clicks.
- SkyFish Smart Gimbal:Delivers unique precision angle measurement with encoded motors to capture deep, highly accurate metadata for 2D mapping and 3D modeling.
- SkyFish M6 or a DJI Commercial Drone:An easily expandable and collapsible commercial-grade UAV.
Skyfish Market Opportunity
According to a recent McKinsey and Company report, businesses across industries realize that drones have multiple commercial applications, some of which go beyond basic surveillance, photography, or videos, and they are already using them to transform daily work in some industries. The United States has been a particularly strong source of commercial growth, with the value of drone activity rising from $40 million in 2012 to about $1 billion in 2017. By 2026, McKinsey estimates that commercial drones—both corporate and consumer applications—will have an annual impact of $31 billion to $46 billion on the country’s GDP. Developments within the United States could thus signal how commercial drone usage and investment will proceed in other markets.