A popular argument used by law enforcement and drone enthusiasts, when people say they are worried about drones spying on them, is this: The cameras on drones just aren't that good, a drone would have to be right next to you for it to be able to see anything important. Say goodbye to that argument, forever.
This is the Aeryon HDZoom30, a camera that can be mounted to the SkyRanger, a small drone used by the military, law enforcement, and commercial operators. And it can see your face or license plate, even if you can't see it. Seriously, watch the video above. No other product like this exists—not on a drone that small, at least.
Drones are a cutting-edge growth industry. More drones are sold every three months than the entire US military uses. Aeryon Labs is, featured in THE AGE OF THE DRONE, as a leader in this huge new business. By 2020 the US Federal Aviation Agency anticipates more than 20,000 drones will be in the air in North America – and that doesn’t even include amateur operators.
Aeryon Lab’s Dave Kroetsch, President & CEO, and April Blaylock Sr. UAS Engineer, spoke with CTV’s Krista Simpson about Projeto Redentor: Mapping Christ the Redeemer.
They discussed the challenges, lessons learned and successes of this very difficult project.
Aeryon Labs, together with Pix4D and PUC University of Rio de Janeiro, reconstructed the first accurate 3D model of Brazil’s most important monument: the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Using the Aeryon UAV platform for data acquisition and Pix4D’s image processing software for the 3D reconstruction, the project team surmounted various challenges to acquire the high-resolution images needed for the model.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office hopes to soon be conducting operations from the air again with a new drone to replace one that crashed last year during a training exercise.
Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of the SkyRanger unmanned aerial system from Canada-based Aeryon Labs Inc. for $188,000 in November. The drone was funded through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
The Michigan State Police could become the first police agency in the nation with statewide authorization to deploy an aerial drone to photograph vehicle crash scenes and give a bird's-eye view of other emergency situations.
The agency hopes to get permission next month from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a $158,000 remote-controlled tiny helicopter that state police pilots have been training to use for more than a year.
State police officials say the drone should reduce the time required to survey and reconstruct major crash scenes like the 193-vehicle pileup that shut down a section of Interstate 94 between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek earlier this month.
"That would have been so useful," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, commander of the Michigan State Police.
It took two days to reopen the highway after the pileup, in part because crash investigators had to take detailed measurements and photos of the scene before they could begin clearing the wreckage of passenger vehicles and commercial trucks, Etue said. Ontario Provincial Police reports up to an 87 percent reduction in the time for its drones to photograph and reconstruct crash areas.
The Aeryon SkyRanger unmanned aerial vehicle takes hundreds of overlapping photos that a computer program stitches together to create a three-dimensional map of a crash, helping investigators reconstruct how vehicle pileups occur, said 1st Lt. Chris Bush.