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Let’s examine removing the human element from autonomous commercial drones – part 3
Autonomous task performance
Taking this capability a step further is to use computer vision or other analytics and basic AI capability, where the drone not only operates, but also creates insights based on the data it has harvested, and translates them into actions.
Moreover, the drone may even perform basic tasks, without any human intervention. For example, imagine a drone constantly monitoring piles of construction materials and seamlessly ordering supplies on a real-time basis as they are needed.
The first level, autonomous flight, is one of the most basic capabilities, but is limited in the U.S. by a “line of sight” regulation, while thriving in other regions like Africa.
Leading drone companies such as DroneDeploy and Skycatch use the autonomous level as described above to create ongoing data collection that is processed and provided to the end-user as a decision tool.
Many startup companies are tackling the second level of autonomy by offering element-protected charging stations; most recently, Airobotics’ premium-level solution. Yet, the true fulfillment of this charging station is to allow end-to-end autonomous capabilities, which requires taking the person out of the loop to operate in a scalable and unlimited way.
Today, innovation is taking place in the area of offering real-time solutions, where on-the-fly analytics takes place, allowing real-time understanding and response. This requires solving an algorithmic challenge of real-time detection while in flight. Once solved, the on-flight detections create, over time, a cloud-based database that can be used to create useful insights and rule sets, allowing real-time responses.
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