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Equipping Drones with Power Tools

Feb 13, 2020

In case you missed it, watch this drone equipped with a nail gun. The University of Michigan calls it an "autonomous roofing robot". Equipped with a pneumatic nail gun –right off the store shelf – UM faculty and students have applied software to demonstrate practical uses in construction for drones equipped with tools, such as roofing. You can imagine how perfecting drone applications for construction, especially in “precarious” engineering designs, where a roofer in this scenario might be assisted by such technology to increase safety on the job.

Watch video University of Michigan drone with nail gun:     

Mich drone
Watch on YouTube »

In just the last few months, video footage of the AGR-4 Agriculture Crop Dusting Drone has been released. Equipped with sprayer and spray, the drone operator can apply necessary “dusting” of hard to reach treetops in orchards for example – no more ladders and “cherry pickers” or bucket trucks. Armed with cameras and upgrades for thermal sensing, drones will fly and help maintain crops at times that might be challenging for crop-dusting planes or large, expensive farm machines.

Watch video of AGR-4 Crop Dusting Drone:

Ag drone drop
Watch on YouTube »

Being used in many sectors including electrical construction and inspection, surveillance, mining, search and rescue, and firefighting, a thermal imaging camera on a drone makes the drone a very powerful and valuable tool. The thermal drone uses vision imaging cameras providing many positive uses, able to detect heat coming from objects and materials, creating images and video to interpret and monitor progress or potential dangers. Heat vision cameras work even in dust, smoke, fog and rain. Drones with heat vision cameras will capture images of people/workers, animals, vegetation, buildings, machinery, planes, boats, all types of automobiles, liquids, gases, land and rocks, and electrical circuits, power lines, capacitors, coupling capacitors and insulation. ECs are making all sorts of applications of drones and thermal cameras in construction, safety and maintenance. Additional reading about advanced thermal imaging cameras for drone work »

A Note from the Author, Dr. Joey Shorter:

This will be my last week writing to you, my avid readers. It has been a pleasure to pen these tech-driven, futuristic and hopefully eye-opening articles for you each week. Looking ahead, catch my new article series Pardon the Disruption: Applied and Disruptive Technology to be unveiled Feb. 24 in NECA's weekly membership newsletter, NECA This Week. This bi-weekly feature will take a closer look at IoT and how it relates to the education and research produced by NECA's foundation, ELECTRI International.

But, not to worry – this weekly update isn't going away! You'll be left in extremely capable hands. Next week, NECA will introduce two new weekly contributors for the Technology update, Josh Bone, NECA Director of Industry Innovation and Lonnie Cumpton, NECA Director of Construction Manufacturing. Josh and Lonnie have extensive backgrounds in innovative construction technology and processes. They will work to provide you with a new perspective on modern day technology, including best practices, tools and resources EC's can (and should) begin to use in their day-to-day business to maximize company efficiency and productivity.

NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology
, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not-too-distant future. Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.