Cognificance

Cognificance

About the significance of machine cognition

Cognificance

About the significance of machine cognition

Drone reconnaissance - not without AI!

With French drone manufacturer Parrot offering consumer-grade drones with commercial markets in mind, it becomes quite obvious that the hurdle for this market is not building a smarter Drone, but working with the flood of data it will generate.

The idea of Parrot (and other manufacturers) is to provide really inexpensive data collection devices - in the case of Parrot a 4-prop and a glider drone - and position them towards activities that previously were the sole realm of experts. These Drones can be equipped with heat-sensing cameras, for example. The 4-prop can be used to inspect building roofs for heat leakage. This previously required either the prohibitive expense of a pro camera attached to a (real) helicopter (at about 1,000$ per hour) or clambering on top of the roof with a standard infrared camera system that has been available to check walls and windows for many years. Glider-style drones, on the other hand, can - continuously, if needed - check crops on the infrared but also the green side of the spectrum to measure crop health, growth rate or weed infestation.

In both cases, tools are handed to people that likely do not have a degree in Physics. They need assistance to churn through the massive amounts of data so as to interpret the findings. It makes little sense, however, to pick up a glider drone to check your vineyards for frost damage for the - in comparison - paltry sum of around $5,000, only to have to hire an expert that is able to interpret the results for $120 per hour every time you let the drone fly.

And what technology is best suited to recognize patterns in the gigabytes of incoming video data if not AI?

With companies like Lockheed Martin and even Airbus entering the commercial drone market, the data and information flood from these devices is sure to reach astronomical levels very quickly - all the more reason for established AI firms and startups to jump on the bandwagon and look at providing AI-based interpretation solutions the market will need quickly.
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