Drones aim for the cloud
Drones have the potential to make a number of industries more efficient, but only if the images and information they capture can be turned into actionable intelligence. That’s why platforms that connect unmanned aerial vehicles to cloud-based software are a focus for developers and investors.
Drone pioneer 3DR said it recently raised $53 million in Series D financing from an investor group that includes Atlantic Bridge, Autodesk Forge Fund, True Ventures, Foundry Group, Mayfield, and a number of other investors. Autodesk Forge is a strategic investor because Autodesk has integrated its Forge software with 3DR’s Site Scan.
3DR’s cloud-connected Site Scan app geolocates 2D and 3D aerial data flow into other applications. The app can process images into orthomosaics and other file types. It can also map a flight plan if a user inputs an area of interest.
3DR said it will use its new funding to continue to build Site Scan, with a focus on the $8 trillion global construction industry. The company said lack of information about construction progress is a primary reason for cost over runs, and that aerial images can help solve this problem.
Hangar 360 is another drone application that uses cloud connectivity to quickly process images. Hangar, founded by a former 3DR executive, calls itself the world’s first robotics-as-a-service data acquisition platform.
The company says its Hangar 360 app launches a drone with the touch of a button, captures a sphere of images and lands at the user’s feet, and then sends the images to the cloud with one more touch of a button. From there, the 360 images can be posted directly to social media. “The Hangar 360 app turns your DJI drone into a 360 photo making machine,” according to the company.
Hangar is one of several drone application and service providers targeting the wireless infrastructure service provider market. Others include Hazon Solutions, ETAK Systems, Airware, Measure, Sentera, Prenav, Dronebase, Dronelancer, Drones.io, Drone Deploy and Top Flight Digital Media.
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Image source: Hangar