Drone Startups part 3: Skycatch
Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.
As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.
In this edition of drone startups, dronologista presents one of personal favorites: Skycatch.
Skycatch is San Francisco based, Google backed startup developing a platform for capturing data at scale using small autonomous aerial robots. Platform is a system consisting of three parts:
- Autonomous UAVs
- Ground stations
- Logistics dashboard
Autonomous UAVs are small, robust, weatherproof and are able to carry HD cameras and wide range of sensors, allowing its users to capture a variety of data types, enabling different perspective of operations.
Ground station is an engineering marvel, allowing the drones to be 100% autonomous. UAV can takeoff, land, swap batteries and transmit data without human intervention. It is a 45 kg box, with a circular opening on top. As drone approaches guided by GPS, camera and sonar sensors, the ground station uses its own sensors and a radio signal for terminal guidance. Robotic arm swaps the battery replacing it with the fresh one from a 10 battery rotating carousel. 15 gigabytes of data collected by the UAV is then beamed up to Box, a cloud based computing service.
Logistics dashboard is the system that allows users to select what data they want and when they want it, and the dashboard plans missions automatically, and delivers requested data.
Among the companies already using Skycatch system are construction giants Bechtel and DPR, and biggest solar power plant in the world, the Agua Caliente Solar Project in Arizona (article about solar panel inspection can be found here)
System can be also used for wind turbines blade inspection, mining operation surveillance and agriculture.
In the video presentation below, you can see how the Skycatch works.
Pictures and video courtesy of Skycatch.