Topographic data is some of the most sought after information that can be generated by drones. To ultimately derive this data, terrain contours, point clouds, and digital surface models are created using software like Pix4D and Autodesk Civil 3D. Mark Blacklin is Data Integration and CAD Supervisor at CGRS, a Colorado-based construction, engineering, and compliance service company that serves the petroleum industry. Mark and Ian discuss the complexities of high precision drone missions, drone hardware and software, GPS systems used (RTK, check points), tips for setting ground control points, and what types of deliverables high-end clients expect.
The United States' NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has many responsibilities but they can essentially be thought of as the federal government's "Environmental Intelligence Agency". Robbie Hood, a meteorologist by trade, is the Director of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program at NOAA. Ian and Robbie discuss the challenges and complexities of how NOAA uses drones for mapping of coastal erosion, studying sea level changes, populations of fisheries and marine mammals, and monitoring weather conditions across their territory of the entire United States—with a budget of $5 million per year.
DroneDeploy is a drone data company who recently raised $20 million to power the further development of their software. Tens of thousands of users from more than 135 countries have collectively processed more than 8 million acres of data using DroneDeploy—larger than the entire country of Belgium. Mike Winn, a serial entrepreneur and ex-Google employee, is CEO and co-founder of DroneDeploy. Mike and Ian discuss how the company has found success, DroneDeploy's release of the world's first App Market for drone data, the relationship between the enterprise and drone service providers, and what the next big thing will be for drones.
Bechtel is a massive, global company that tackles multi-billion dollar mega-projects. They plan on integrating drones into their operations for use in their infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, and government services projects. Today, their elaborate drone evaluation is nearly complete. Nate Fuller, Bechtel's Lead UAV Investigator, meets with Ian to reveal the steps it takes for a global enterprise to fully adopt drones—what they look for in hardware and software, how they manage global regulations, the use cases they will implement, and more. This is a fascinating look inside of a company that Fortune magazine says has "changed the face of the physical world more than any other."
With so much noise surrounding the drone industry, whose opinion are you supposed to trust? Colin Snow AKA "The Drone Analyst" joins Ian to explain why his team's thoughtful, pragmatic approach to analyzing the drone industry sets them apart. Colin and Ian dispel myths surrounding the most common misconceptions with drones, the biggest opportunities that exist for drone companies, and what he believes it the most exciting thing happening in the drone industry right now.
It can be difficult to buy a new drone when the technology is advancing so rapidly. DJI just made two huge product announcements within 6 weeks of each other, which prompted some to cancel one purchase in favor of another. Up Sonder is a startup that makes purchase decisions a no-brainer by allowing you to easily rent your drones to neighbors with free $1,000,000 insurance and $2,500 of full hardware replacement coverage. Derek Waleko, CEO of Up Sonder, joins Ian to explain how they use the Uber Rush API to enable this drone rental marketplace so you can safely monetize your drone.
There are many misconceptions on how to effectively use drones in agriculture. Norm Lamothe is a farmer, seasoned commercial drone operator, and co-founder at Deveron UAS—a publicly traded, Canadian drone service company. Norm joins Ian to set the story straight by discussing how farmers are really using drones and what they can accomplish by deploying them above their fields.
As a classically trained model aircraft pilot, Joshua Ziering didn't easily imagine a future beyond flying chalupa-shaped blimps inside NHL stadiums. So he did what came naturally and built the future himself. Joshua, along with Jon Hegranes, is cofounder of Kittyhawk.io, a software company which specializes in drone fleet management that helps with every aspect of your operation, from pre-flight to post-flight. Joshua and Ian discuss why Kittyhawk.io is useful, what sets it apart, and a bevy of other drone industry news.
There are many ways that drones benefit society—but unfortunately, with the rise of drones comes the rise of malicious activity. Dedrone is a company which offers an automatic, anti-drone solution for their clients. Prisons, large events, and even presidential debates require solutions that can repel drones with bad intentions. Sebastian Blum, VP of BD at Dedrone, joins Ian to reveal the fascinating technology that Dedrone uses to keeps their clients safe.
Think you're a serious drone operator? Then you better take compliance seriously too. Eric Kubicka is a founding partner of DroneLogbook, software for flight tracking, logging, and drone compliance. At their peak, DroneLogbook users track thousands of flights per week. Eric and Ian discuss why compliance is important, trends with enterprise companies entering the drone space, and best practices for operational compliance in general.
For Forbes, Ryan Mac has written some of the drone industry's seminal articles—covering DJI's Frank Wang, Parrot's Henri Seydoux, and now, Chris Anderson in "The Crash Of 3D Robotics, North America's Most Promising Drone Company". Ryan and Ian discuss the background of the 3DR saga, how the company burned through nearly $100 million, laid off 150 employees, and wound up where they are today. What really caused the crash of 3D Robotics?
Redbird, a French drone software company, was recently purchased by Airware, an American drone software company. A few weeks before the sale was made public, Ian and Emmanuel, Redbird's then-CEO (now VP of AEC at Airware), recorded this podcast episode. Emmanuel and Ian discuss how large mining and construction companies use drones and why they're important to them. Get a glimpse inside of Redbird as the negotiations for the sale of the company were likely well underway.
Ian is joined by Austin Smith, GM of Inside.com, a startup which focuses on tech newsletters. Inside.com produces the Inside Drones newsletter, a thoughtfully curated, twice-weekly digest of the most interesting drone news. Ian and Austin discuss how he started the company and chat about some of the latest drone news.
DJI has announced their Mavic Pro drone, the smallest and most powerful drone they've ever created. The new Mavic Pro drone platform has specs and pricing that best the popular Phantom 4 and newly announced GoPro Karma which make it a promising candidate for commercial drone operations. Ian dissects the announcement, features, and viability of using the Mavic Pro for drone inspection and mapping missions.
Publicly traded GoPro have officially revealed the hotly anticipated Karma drone. Incidentally, this first effort into the industry directly competes with the largely dominant DJI, a private company, who happen to have a similar drone of their own which will be announced the following week. Ian analyzes GoPro's new drone and how this battle will shape up. Which of these companies will reign supreme in the battle for drone supremacy—who is David and who is Goliath?