Updated: May 25
In this issue of Hammer Missions's success stories, we spoke to Rik Bijl from Euro Drone Inspections, an innovative commercial drone operator based in the Netherlands, using Hammer for the past 1.5 years.
Euro Drone Inspections, are part of a major Engineering Company in the Benelux called KH Group, and provide a variety of drone services for customers in various industrial sectors, governments, construction and infrastructure. They collect very detailed images and data for their customers in a safe and reliable manner.
Their current services include remote sensing data capture, inspection services, 2D & 3D mapping services and photography & video with their drones. The data collected with drones is indispensable for project developers, developing builders, architects, civil contractors, engineering firms and governments. They use the data to process 2D and 3D models for transformation, renovation and redesign or maintenance applications. Together with KH Group's sister company - Smart Asset Integrity Solutions, they offer a complete inspection portfolio of which our drone data collection is an essential part.
Q. What made you enter the drone industry?
"After almost 25 years in the IT Business of which 12 years as co-founder of a midsize IT firm it was time to broaden my horizon and step into the undiscovered world of Unmanned Aviation. We were asked by a traditional inspection company, who performed inspections on scaffoldings. Inspections with drones are more safe and flexible. That was the start of Euro Drone Inspections at the end of 2014."
Q. Could you describe the services you currently offer and to whom?
"Our slogan is: It’s not about flying It’s about collecting reliable data.
High resolution Inspection, mapping, 3D point clouds and progress beauty shots. Customers are very diverse from Multinationals in oil and gas, governmental customers and construction companies. For example : Rijkswaterstaat, is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands.
We have thousands of unique objects in the Netherlands that need regular inspection. Drones cannot be ignored anymore and have proven clear advantages. "
Q. What drones and cameras do you currently operate?
“Every project needs its own drone that’s right for the job to be done. Also the attached payload can vary depending on the project.
Our fleet consists of the DJI Matrice 600 Pro D-RTK, DJI Matrice 210 RTK v2 , DJI Matrice 210, Inspire 2 ProResDNG, Inspire 2, Mavic Dual Enterprise.
Cameras include Sony Alpha 7R , Sony FS7 , Zenmuse X4S , Zenmuse X5s and the 30x optical zoom Z30. We also rent other payloads as needed.
We were one of the first operators in Europe to test the Skydio S2 autonomous drone in a real test plant in Rotterdam. Very promising and in Q1 2021 we will have its successor the X2"
The operations of Euro Drone Inspections in action
Q. What's been your most challenging drone mission?
"We were asked to inspect the remains of a parking lot that collapsed during construction, 2 weeks before opening. The parking lot consists of three stories and was only 100m away from an airport's runway. The whole area was closed to the public and our drones provided very useful information to the investigation team. After 2 days of flying and providing the right data the first insights about the potential cause were found. We received a lot of Dutch national TV attention."
Q. What made you choose Hammer?
"The easiness to use, the responsive team behind it and the availability of lots of missions types. From a pilot and mission planner point of view Hammer is very straight forward and programmed with the intention to collect drone data easy and efficiently"
Q. What missions do you typically fly with Hammer?
"In our daily operations of 2d-3d mapping we use Double Grid with oblique camera angle settings , Single Grid with Nadir camera setup, Vertical Inspections and Waypoint mission used in clash detections for example"
Q. What's the next big thing for your organisation?
"As of November 1st, we joined the KH group, a top 10 engineering firm in the Benelux with a huge number of multi-national connections in oil-gas industries and construction. Together with our sister company Smart Asset Integrity Solutions we can offer the “complete” picture in QA/QC. Static Laser scans combined with photogrammetry point clouds are used to deliver digital twins and as-build models. We are more than ready for takeoff in 2021"
Q. How do you see the drone industry evolving?
"More and more autonomous flights, if law and legislation approve. Drones will perform complex inspections, even in GPS denied area's due to evolving techniques like Lidar, sense & avoid etc. The traditional pilot will be replaced by good planning software and autonomous drones."
We are grateful to Euro Drone Inspections for sharing their story and their current operations. We look forward to supporting their operations into the future with adaptive flight automation. Together we believe that safe and innovative drone operations combined with flight automation will shape the future of the commercial drone industry.
- The Hammer Team