Amazon Made it's First Delivery by Drone

It's a bird... it's a plane... it's my tacos!

If you've been paying attention you'll have heard about Amazon's delivery by drone program. Well, it's now official! Although still in beta testing, they delivered the first package to a real customer. I wonder what they ordered? Check out the video. You'll see the drone is tracked out onto a launchpad much like how NASA does it but on a much smaller scale. The first delivery took 13 minutes from time of order to drop off. 

Boy have times changed. Only time will tell how practical drone delivery will actually be. Stay tuned. Read more about Amazon's drone delivery service.


Check out some of our aerial drone videos on our Youtube channel and while you're there make sure to subscribe. 

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Roof Inspections with a Drone

You don't need to climb up on that roof... use a drone!

We were recently hired to fly our mapping drone over the Grand Summit Hotel in Park City, Utah. The hotel is quite large and is ringed with heated cable (heat trace cable) to keep large chunks of ice from falling off and possibly injuring someone. The hotel needed to replace their roof ice melt system with a new and more energy efficient system. For reasons I won't get into, they needed to know how many feet of existing cable was up there.

Besides using a drone, the other two options were to put a person in a boom lift maneuvering along the edge of the hotel or actually have someone crawl out on the roof! Both of these methods are time consuming, more costly, and put peoples live's in danger. So the obvious choice was to use a drone.

In about an hour we were able to safely fly the drone over and around the hotel getting hi-res images which were then passed onto the engineers where they were able to easily get the measurements from the safety of their desks. We ran two missions. The first mission was an autonomous flight where we took many "top-down" hi-res photos and later stitched them together to get one very hi-res image (see image top-left) of the entire roof. Our second mission, we manually flew the drone around the entire edge of the hotel taking closeup photos of the roof line. As mentioned, we accomplished this safely in about an hour!

In this case scenario we saved our client time, money, and they never had to put anyone in harms way. Using drones, or UAVs, for roof inspections just works. 

Did you know you can also use a drone equipped with a thermal imaging camera (FLIR) to inspect roofs for heat loss and penetrating water? Contact us for a demo...

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Drone Photography Services Coming to a Ski Resort Near You?

Drone Photography Services Coming to a Ski Resort Near You?

The drones are coming... the drones are coming... or are they?

Wouldn't it be a great way to commemorate your ski vacation with a drone "selfie" of you and your posse? Even better, epic aerial video of you as you mach down Alta's High Boy blasting through blower Utah pow? Yes please! Ski resorts already offer on-mountain photo and video services so it's a natural fit. 2016/2017 season perhaps? The concern is, can commercial drones be flown safely at ski resorts and will they be accepted by everyone? Obviously, you don't want to drop a drone out of the sky onto someone's head so designated drone flight areas with low traffic would likely need to be established in areas where they aren't a constant annoyance. So yeah, I think it can be done safely and people will get used to them and maybe eventually they will be embraced and loved. Ummm maybe. Yeah, don't worry... I'm not holding my breath, especially after the incident in this video. 

What about drones being used for search and rescue missions? Drone's could be fitted with heat-sensing technology to find people or with LED spotlights to illuminate a large area. The good news is soon some drones will be equipped with ballistic parachutes to bring them softly to the ground. 

OK, do you want to see drone footage of some homie "tomahawking" down the mountain like Ian McIntosh? Sorry, you'll have to settle with this video of skier Marcel Hirscher narrowly missing getting hit by the drone. Wow, that was close! That drone and camera were most likely worth over $10,000.

It was only 10 years ago or so that we were using bulky analog camcorders that didn't even shoot in HD. Now we can record stunning hi-resolution 4k (soon to be 8k) video from borderline autonomous tiny flying-camcorders. Isn't technology great!

Check out more aerial drone videos on our Youtube channel and while you're there make sure to subscribe!

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