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  • Writer's pictureHammer Missions

Success Stories #004: DroneWorks

Updated: Aug 12, 2021


In this issue of Hammer Missions's success stories, we spoke to Jason Hinsley from DroneWorks, an innovative commercial drone operator based in the UK, using Hammer for the past 1 year.

DroneWorks is located in Preston, Lancashire and is capable of undertaking Aerial surveying projects across the UK. They believe drones do not just provide a general view from above, but provide an interactive solution, allowing us to better communicate project progress, digitally document assets and enhance safety on the job site. Drones when used correctly, are valuable assets to visually and technically demonstrate construction progress to stakeholders, saving time and money.

The Interview

Q. What made you enter the drone industry?

"I come from a software engineering and automation background and so have a love of technology and how it can benefit our lives. The use of drones to inspect existing infrastructure can be cheaper, faster, and importantly safer. Simple inspection jobs of buildings and structures is now easily done by flying a Drone, identifying areas in need of repair.

The drone is a tool to quickly and accurately collect data. With that data and extra information collected using drone technology, we can make better decisions and that's where things get really exciting!"

Q. Could you describe the services you currently offer and to whom?

"Our focus is on commercial inspections, construction progress and land survey data collection. Providing high resolution imagery on the condition of a tall building, or quickly collecting accurate site data for a construction project manager or site engineer.

We are also Cat 1 thermographers, providing infrared inspections of building fabric and detecting leaks on flat roofs, that are invisible to the naked eye.

Drone technology can be of benefit in many ways, often bringing a reduction in time, cost and safety. We work with our customers to determine the type of service applicable to their business.

We aim to not just provide drone data, but assist the client in making the best use of it with little hassle, because no matter how fancy the drone is, if the client is struggling to work with the data, they will revert to their old trusted, less efficient methods."

Q. What drones and cameras do you currently operate?

"Our go to drone is Phantom 4 Pro RTK for mapping / surveying and construction progress, or the Matrice 200 with Z30, X5S and XT sensors for commercial inspections.

We still also use the Inspire 1 from to time to time, it's still a very capable platform.

The Phantom 4 RTK allows for accurate survey data collection, excellent imagery and a useful battery life. The M200 is a very flexible platform with the ability to carry different sensors. The Z30 and X5S (with interchangeable lenses) are a great combination to capture inspection data from a safe distance."

The operations of DroneWorks in action at a construction site.

Q. What's been your most challenging drone mission?

"Land survey & mapping of a rural hotel grounds. These tasks included knee-high grass and lots of trees! Every flight had to be carefully planned and flown.

Recently the inspection of cladding at a large hospital was also challenging due to the size and shape of the building and also the general activity associated with a hospital."

Q. What made you switch to Hammer?

"The different mission types enabling inspections to be automated, saving us time on site and improving the quality and consistency of data collection. Inspections can be planned offsite, run through the simulator and fine-tuned once on site which saves time.

Automating an inspection not only saves time, but results in more consistent results leading to a higher quality output and a happy client!

Functionality aside, the support received from the Hammer Missions team is fantastic. They’re helpful and responsive to feedback, using our contributions to drive the development of regular new features making Hammer our go to application.

Q. What missions do you typically fly with Hammer?

The inspection mission is the most used. Although the vertical inspection mission is very useful for capturing data from building facades and tall structures.

The ability to identify and automatically avoid obstacles is a very useful feature in Hammer, often missing from other automated flight applications. Orbit is great for construction progress!

The end result being a clear set of high resolution images and video which can be shared with and inspected by an engineer to easily identify issues.

Q. What's the next big thing for your organisation?

"Growing the survey & mapping side of the business. The construction industry is largest adopter of drone technology, but there are still many organisations that do not fully know what is possible.

We truly believe in working with surveyors and site engineers to provide them with accurate data they can trust, in a safe and timely manner to ensure projects can progress on time and within budget.

The bottom line is we can save them time and money and also bring some new solutions to the table that were not previously possible."

Q. How do you see the drone industry evolving?

"Using drones to digitise a site or asset and integrating with other systems and workflows is the key. The drone is a tool to collect data, but integrating that data into the workflow is the next logical step to ensure we maximise the benefits of this technology. Doing this in an automated but safe workflow is the key."

A building inspection conducted by DroneWorks - identifying issues in hard to access areas.

Closing Thoughts

We're grateful to DroneWorks for sharing their story and look forward to supporting their operations into the future with adaptive flight automation. Together we believe that innovative drone operations combined with flight automation will shape the future of the commercial drone industry.

If you currently do not have access to Hammer Missions, you can get started over here.

If you’d like to learn more about other missions supported in Hammer, including facade inspection, tower mapping and more, please visit our mission tutorials.

- The Hammer Team

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