Friday, 14 February 2014

Superfly Guy

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK
or LinkedIn here uk.linkedin.com/pub/tony-smith-bsc-hons-acih/a/979/351/

Like you I was sceptical when BBC's Tomorrows World promised us jet packs back in the 1970's. In December however, we heard about the plans for Amazon to deliver parcels by unmanned drones. Would you believe it,  just this week I saw a Midlands based housing group testing an octocopter, for possible surveillance & surveying around its estates. This one was a four propeller version fitted with HD camera, able to scale a 13 storied tower block and fly for nearly half an hour.  All for just over a £grand plus local permissions to fly.

UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Long seen as the province of the armed forces, in far off lands surgically taking out insurgents or mistakenly the lives of innocents, these are now becoming a tool to be used by UK RSLs. Fitted with an infrared detector, they can locate cannabis farms in the lofts on your estates, track ASB silently or complete an estate fly-about, faster than your neighbourhood officers on foot.

These small vehicles (under 20Kg), can be programmed to GPS coordinates to fly remotely, without direct human control, collecting images or HD video footage. Buildings, power lines and other obstacles can be avoided. Of course, someone will have to box of who would be liable if an accident occurred etc. Before you can fly a UAV in the UK, a Remote Pilot Qualification (RPQ) is required. Once this is achieved, a remote pilot’s application for a “Permissions for Aerial Work” can be pursued. For the former, budget about £1,500 and the latter about £350.

So for around just under £3K you have a robust tool for asset condition survey, estate management that can  improve service and management of your stock. (More details at http://www.resource-uas.co.uk/RPASTraining/Bookingacourse/Pricelist.aspx ).

In the current wave of strange stormy winter weather coming east from the Atlantic, how much easier and cheaper would it be to survey flooded schemes at 30 metres up, to identify residents in danger or in need of assistance? These UAV's perform very well in weather too. Set a course and they have technology to follow it, taking into account gusts and prevailing winds. In many areas where helicopters have been the usual choice, or where helicopters cannot, developments in technology now make Unmanned Air Systems a viable alternative.

I am sure too that the naysayers will instantly poo-poo Drones as being bad for, and will be instantly rejected by tenants. I think not. If it was a choice between having scaffolding erected to inspect something or 40 mins with a surveyor with a drone, I think I know what I would choose.

Tenants will definitely have to be informed & informed in advance, like any other inspection visit. I wager they will be generally interested and will be keen to see what its all about. They obviously need their privacy respected.

This is an expanding area and one I am sure we will see more of in the near future in social housing and within many RSLs and groups. Drones will become a means of doing som ethings quicker and improving the whole customer experience.

You can link with me on LinkedIn here - uk.linkedin.com/pub/tony-smith-bsc-hons-acih/a/979/351/ It would be great to connect !

S-express - Superfly Guy .



PS- A big thank you to the lovely Jayne Elliot of Capita, who guessed I would be using this Terrorvision track, from Keighleys best. A top track and I have been playing the album all morning now as a result. Brilliant musical taste I thought! - Check it out yourself here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxQ11q07lnw  

(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009

PS As usual, if there are subjects you might like me to tackle on this blog, please get in touch and let me know!

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