Drone technology continues building on solid foundations in construction

Drone technology continues building on solid foundations in construction

CONSTRUCTION MONITORING

Iprosurv construction Monitoring Sharing Data

Drone technology continues building on solid foundations in construction.

Managing a construction project is no small task. From tracking site progress and monitoring safety, overseeing subcontractors and, keeping stakeholders informed, there is almost no end to the level of coordination required on any given day.

It’s no wonder project managers on job sites of all sizes are turning to drones for support. The construction industry has been one of the earliest and most enthusiastic adopters of drone technology. In the last year alone, the commercial drone industry has grown 240% and much of that growth is driven by the construction industry.

Aerial photos, maps, and 3D models have the power to transform your workflow.

Not only can drones save your construction projects money and resources, but they also give your team a technical set of data for more informed communication and decision making.

Sites can be monitored at any time interval to allow new data on the progress of the site to maintain an efficient workflow and site monitoring.

MAPPING AND 3D MODELING

Alongside surveys, innovation in drone software systems allows accurate contour maps and 3D models to be produced, based on footage and data gathered.

The process of high-resolution aerial imagery 3D modeling comes in

various formats but essentially enables images of the whole project area to be captured and merged into a comprehensive model of the area.

2D images can also be generated based on mapping technology.

Whilst 3D imagery offers full model benefits, 2D images allow accurate measurements and adjustment.

ONE DATA SET – MULTIPLE OUTPUTS

In most cases a single data set can be used in multiple outputs producing an Orth mosaic 2D image to look at the whole site in minute detail allowing you to assess site progress, safety issues and anything else you need to monitor.

As a 2d data set this is taking imagery in NADIR (camera facing straight down), it is very hard to understand levels and relief on the ground.

Using the same data set a DTM (Digital Terrain Model) can be produced at the same time, allowing site managers and planners to understand the elevation of the site, heights, and levels.

CUT AND FILL AND VOLUMETRIC CALCULATIONS INSTANTLY

Drone stockpile management Iprosurv Cut and Fill

During the early stages of the project, drones can play an important role in the levelling of the prospective site. due to the Geo tagged images and onboard sensors the drone can take land level calculations it can then through specific software calculate cut and fill amounts and locations. Stockpiles can also be monitored to ensure safety and compliance.

All this can be converted into a site-specific report for all stakeholders.

Iprosurv stockpile report

PROGRESS MONITORING

Many of the latest drone systems incorporate advanced situational and positional awareness for enhanced security and in-the-moment evaluation, response, and planning. Drones make the production of weekly progress maps far quicker, easier, and less costly than traditional methods. They also facilitate greater and easier information exchanges between construction companies and their clients, boosting overall efficiency, transparency, and communication.

SECURITY, MAINTENANCE, SAFETY

Security must be one of the main contributing factors to site safety using drones can allow site managers and stakeholders to quickly assess the installation and maintenance of security measures such as fencing, on-site cameras, equipment security and storage etc.

Using thermal cameras can give added security to help monitor and detect site activity during silent hours.

Due to the height of operations of the drone, a unique data aspect can be obtained to identify further risks such as proximity issues of waste and storage or other materials which could cause fire hazards and other issues.

Where areas are completely inaccessible, drones can be used and where there’s uncertainty about safety issues, drone technology can be used to save time as well as minimize risk. For example, drones can analyze roof structures from above, and with the use of a specialist internal drone which can be used in internal structures to gather data.

RISK AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT

Iprosurv elios 2 drone inspecting sewer

Any areas considered too risky for sending in personnel, such as dangerous structures, areas where hazardous materials are leaking or where there’s risk of fire from flammable materials, mean using a drone presents a safer option as the drone operator can remain at a safe distance.

Specialist drones can be employed where access is restricted with onboard thermal, RGB cameras, and high-intensity spotlights all housed in a collision-proof cage to avoid damage.

SUPPLIED OR IN-HOUSE DRONE SOLUTION?

We know that one size never fits all, so we tailor our services to your needs. We can provide a full service of the pilot, equipment, data collection and, delivery.

Or if you want to add drones to your workflow, we can help you manage your drone proposition, source pilots and we’ll take care of all aspects of the drone management down to licensing and provide a white-labeled case management system for the delivery and monitoring of your data.

Contact

For further information, contact info@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv provides companies with the in-house capability of drone and data/media delivery services. Our CAMERA system and optimum drone operator platform provides bespoke services be that an on-demand, fully managed service to independent data/media delivery services.

Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology across a range of industries. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure way. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

Posted in Drone Tech, General Interest, Information, Iprosurv News

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Andrews Inspired Blog, it’s all about drones

INTRODUCTION

Andrews Inspired Blog, it's about all drones

Following on from my announcement as the new Director of training and development, I have decided to start 2022 with a regular blog to keep you updated with my pick of the latest developments and safety information in the drone industry as well as what we are doing in Iprosurv. Carry on reading, “Andrews Inspired Blog, it’s about all drones”.

I know there are lots of blogs out there but hopefully, you will find this one as informative with some ‘standing agenda’ items covered each time. Please let me know if there is anything else you would like me to research and cover. I am working on a few ideas to keep the blogs interesting and topical and will be looking for some engagement from you with any good news stories about drones or things you have done that others could learn from.

IPROSURV NEWS

Iprosurv recently advertised for a new franchise opportunity to come and work with us. If you haven’t seen the full advert then please visit our LinkedIn account at the following link to find out more about this exciting opportunity and the support you will receive.

I have created a couple of online courses which I will be presenting in person. Like some others, I have been very frustrated at some of the questions on various social media accounts where it is clear some remote pilots and operators are not understanding the new regulations. Some of these questions are coming from people who have passed their A2 or GVC qualifications so they either didn’t ask their RAE during their training or were given the wrong advice.

Iprosurv Andrew Hamilton Course

The first course is entitled ‘Drone regulations – Simplifying the jargon’ and is a 2-hour presentation where I use simple language to break down the jargon which seems to be confusing people. These include subjects such as Article 16, flying in Europe, Class of Drone and should I bother renewing my PfCO. The courses are limited to 10 people at a time to allow for some interaction and engagement to maximise the opportunity to learn about the new regs and ask questions. You can find this course at the following link ‘Drone regulations – simplifying the jargon’

The second course is entitled: ‘Learn how to fly your drone safely and within the regulations and is aimed at newcomers to the drone world, maybe those who got a drone as a Christmas present or just starting out. Again a two-hour presentation in person where topics such as airspace, battery care, basic maintenance and so on will be covered. This fills the gap for the Mini 2 and other subs 250g drones where the remote pilot does not legally need to learn the drone code and obtain a Flyer ID, so won’t know what an FRZ is or restricted airspace. You can find this course at the following link ‘Learn how to fly your drone safely and within the regulations’

Finally, I am also giving the opportunity of a one to one session with me to discuss anything drone-related, whether it is about new regulations, business models, initial OSC consultancy to Ops manual content. I have been asked several times to hold these one to one sessions so pleased to be able to announce them. You can find how to apply for the one to one session at the following link insert link to the course

NEW DRONES

I have been flying drones since 2014 and started off with the (at the time) highly capable DJI Phantom 1 with a GoPro 3 Hero black hung underneath, as well as a couple of fixed-wing drones and other DJI models. I don’t confess to being a drone test pilot so will leave that skill to the numerous bloggers, reviewers and youtube accounts where new drones are tested, compared and reported upon. The comparisons are really interesting and can often help with the decision on what drone to purchase. I have flown in a wide variety of scenarios, as a hobbyist, a commercial operator and a Police remote pilot in very demanding situations and using the Emergency Services Exemption.

A number of new drones have recently been released, non so eagerly awaited as the DJI Mavic 3 and what a capable (and expensive) drone it appears to be. Reading through some of the reviews it is a game-changer for some and a long-awaited upgrade to the Mavic 2. I also noticed Sony have now released their Airpeak S1 after initially teasing us with a preview in January 2021.

The sub 250g drones has never been so important since the new EU regs (UK (EU) Reg No 947/2019) that came into force on 31st December 2020. This weight category allows flights in the A1 subcategory with no training requirement. In fact, all you need to do is read the manufacturer’s instruction manual and register as an Operator (unless under 18 and someone else who is 18 has to register as an operator).

There is not even a requirement for the Flyer ID element of the CAA’s Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service. I think this may be an oversight and missed opportunity as to how will the new remote pilot know the rules and regulations. When the C class (UK class in the UK) of drones is introduced on 1st January 2023 then all new drones should have a card inside the box to tell you exactly what you can and can’t do, but no requirement if you buy a second hand from eBay!

POSITIVE DRONE STORIES

The Emergency services continue to deliver excellent results with the use of their drones to support aviation assets. My old force Devon and Cornwall Police, have been finding missing people as well as Lincolnshire Police and West Midlands Police. Some of the Police forces have some really good drone Twitter accounts so I would advise checking them out for any updates and see how they are using their drones.

A nice story you may have missed was the Search and Rescue dog Juno that went missing while out walking and was found by a Norfolk Search and Rescue drone after being missing for 5 days https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-59803073

Both at home and abroad we are seeing drones starting to make an impact on delivering vital supplies. In the UK we have seen hybrid and fixed-wing drones delivering essential items such as medical supplies, samples and post to remote islands or hard to reach surgeries and hospitals. Whilst at the CAA, I was involved in authorising the Operating Safety Cases allowing BVLOS flights to enable these vital deliveries. There was a huge amount of collaboration between stakeholders involved in getting temporary airspace restrictions to enable these operations to be carried out safely.

If you have any positive drone stories then please let me know as I would like to have this as a regular feature for each blog.

NEGATIVE DRONE STORIES

I am not sure if it is me but as drones are becoming more and more popular and talked about, I am seeing less reports of drone misuse being reported in the press. Are they now becoming more acceptable to the public so they are not reporting any misuse? The press seem to be reporting more good use of drones than bad. The anniversary of Gatwick drone incident of December 2019 passed by without incident but it is still be talked about as to whether a drone was sighted or not. The press ran a number of articles with different theories. However, we have not seen a repeat of this incident that has closed an airport for so long.

The only negative story I saw in the press in my local area was a drone being used to scare sea lions that were resting on a rock down off the Cornish coast

Interestingly I have not seen any articles relating to drone crashes, mid-air collisions, or accidents. So are we saying drones are inherently safe, the remote pilots are safe as it can’t be just down to luck that the drone industry has not had any reported fatalities since they started? Actually, should this be a positive drone story?

Again, If you have any negative drone stories then please let me know as I would like to have this as a regular feature for each blog.

CAA UPDATES AND SAFETY NOTICES

Of the 48 current CAA Safety Notice Publications (see link) there is only one applicable to Unmanned Aircraft Systems. SN-2020/010 Unmanned Aircraft – Responses to abnormal operations and in-flight failures. For those who have an Operational authorisation, you should have made reference to this safety notice and recorded when you have carried out your practice of your procedures. If you haven’t read this safety notice then please do so asap as it may help you recover from an emergency situation.

Have you seen the latest CAA makeover? Their website has had an update. I quite like the new look, a lot easier to find the pages you are looking for and some great info about drones. You will see they are using the term Remotely Piloted Aircraft now instead if Unmanned aircraft (one to remember for your Ops manuals!) I can see where they are coming from but they still use both terms so need to be more consistent.

Click on the following link and have a look at the latest pages on drones.

The following link provides a lot of detail for the public who do not fly drones, some good info but again uses the term UAS where they could have used RPA if that is what it is changing to. There are some useful fact sheets there to help explain the regs. They were launched when the new regs came out last year so are not new, but a new webpage gives a good opportunity to launch them again.

CAA SKYWISE PUBLICATIONS

The latest sky wise publication relevant to UAS was the information that the restricted airspace over Windsor Castle was being made permanent from 27th January 2022. Prior to that, the next UAS relevant Skywise alert was for the publication of the latest version of CAP 1789A, version 5, dated 14th December 2021 link (make sure you update your ops manual reference table). This document provides readers with a consolidated version of the text within the UAS Implementing Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/947 as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018).

AIRPROX ALERTS

Airprox reports can be contentious for some, as they believe that the vague description, lack of detail and corroboration by the reporting person is providing unreliable information in some cases. We are now seeing more unknown objects being classified. The Airprox website if you haven’t already seen it, is well worth a visit. There is a lot of analysis and reports and the Airprox reports of 2021 are an interesting read. Please be aware of the criteria for submitting an Airprox report

AAIB REPORTS

Another good source of information is the AAIB reports where a UAS has been involved. The latest report involved a Prion Mk 3 fixed-wing UAS which crashed due to loss of power on Salisbury Plain in February 2021. The report highlighted some issues with the spark plug cap not being fitted securely which resulted in the UAS manufacturer modifying the fleet of Prion Mk3s and the operator changing their training and operational procedures.

Prior to that the AAIB investigated the crash of a Parrot Anafi USA which was being used in support of a police search operation. The remote pilot took off without acquiring sufficient GPS satellites to enable a ‘Home point’ to be acquired. This resulted in a loss of control and subsequent fly away when the RTH function did not operate as the pilot expected. The operator amended their inflight checklist to ensure a home location is recorded before take off.

These reports are not there to apportion blame, but to investigate what happened and try to prevent a repeat. In some cases the AAIB can recommend a Safety recommendation to the CAA. The safety notice 2020/010 mentioned above is a good example of a safety notice issued by the CAA after an AAIB investigation.

CHIRP REPORTS

Confidential Human –Factors Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP) is an Aviation and Maritime Confidential incident reporting forum whose aim is to contribute to the enhancement of aviation safety in the UK by providing a totally independent confidential (not anonymous) reporting system for all individuals employed in or associated with the aviation industry. https://www.chirp.co.uk/

MOR REPORTS

I am trying to work with the CAA to get an idea of the number and type of MOR reports that are being submitted. Obviously anonymised but it would be good to know how many MOR reports are being submitted and for what reason and what drone.

Remember, even when operating in the Open Category or Article 16  you have to report incidents under ECCAIRS. The Drone an Model Aircraft Code states:

WRAP UP

So that’s for my first blog, I hope you found it informative and interesting. I would like to hear more about some of your drone jobs, experiences, crashes, tips, or tricks that you are willing to share with others through this blog. I see it as information sharing to help others learn from your knowledge and experiences so we can work together as an industry. My next blog will be coming in early March.

I am in the process if setting up a twitter and Instagram account to share further safety information and drone topics so please look out for them and give me a follow when you see them.

Contact

For further information, contact info@iprosurv.com or andrew.hamilton@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv provides companies with the in-house capability of drone and data/media delivery services. Our CAMERA system and optimum drone operator platform provides bespoke services be that an on-demand, fully managed service to independent data/media delivery services.

Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology across a range of industries. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure way. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

Posted in Blog, Drone Tech, General Interest, Information, Iprosurv News

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Lack Of Awareness About The Benefits Of Drones Technology Could Be Impacting Development Of Insurance Sector

A lack of awareness or willingness to explore the benefits of drone technology in insurance could be holding back the development of the sector, according to new research.

A survey of nearly 100 insurers and brokers across the UK, conducted by Research in Insurance in Evolution of Claims conjunction with Iprosurv, found that despite drone technology being identified as one of the top five pieces of technology insurance practitioners want to see used more, the majority of the market still doesn’t employ them.

When asked what kind of technology they would like to see used more in the industry, drones proved to be the fifth most popular behind automated claims processing, claims portals, greater use of videos and cameras, and the introduction of claims apps, out of a total of 20 choices.

Despite this appetite for adoption, of those surveyed, 60% of insurers and 89% of brokers said they weren’t currently using drones.

Lack Of Awareness

Nearly a third of insurers (32%) and 28% of brokers admitted that they just don’t understand the tech with 11% of insurers and 30% of brokers saying they don’t see a need.

However, it does seem that there is an appetite to use drones within organisations with 29% of insurers and 9% of brokers blaming a lack of appetite in the organisation for their absence. This is highest (30%) among those working at a support level of the business.

However, when asked if they would use drones if they reduced the claims life cycle, not one insurer said that they wouldn’t use them with only 6% of brokers ruling the idea out.

Nearly half of insurers (46%) and 35% of brokers said they definitely would use them but again, there appears to be resistance to drones at certain levels in some organisations with 54% of respondents saying they didn’t have the influence to introduce them to their business.

Rebecca Jones CEO Iprosurv

Rebecca Jones CEO Iprosurv

“It’s remarkable that drones can be one of the most eagerly anticipated pieces of technology in insurance, yet the majority of organisations aren’t currently using them,” said Rebecca Jones, CEO and co-founder of Iprosurv, one of the UK’s leading drone services providers.

“We know from working with a growing number of insurers, brokers and loss adjusters over the last seven years that drones significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to assess a claim and do so at a fraction of the cost of traditional approaches.

“The industry is telling us that this is exactly what they want, and these services are available from a number of organisations across the country, yet the industry as a whole just doesn’t seem to be able to properly explore the opportunities presented.”

Drones played a key role in many organisations’ ability to manage claims at the height of the pandemic with loss adjusters and insurers using drones to conduct remote assessments while their people were confined to their homes.

And the benefits of that approach appear in the research with 40% of insurers and 33% of brokers reporting a positive impact of adjusters employing remote technology to manage claims.

Tech in the Pandemic

Conversely, adjusters not embracing remote technology during the pandemic appears to have had an impact on service levels with nearly half of insurers (47%) and brokers alike (49%) saying they had seen a negative impact from adjusters not being able to get out during lockdown.

“Over the last seven years, we have seen more and more insurers, adjusters and now brokers switch on to what drones can do for their businesses and their clients and it appears that these early adopters continue to enjoy a competitive advantage.

“It is clear from the research that the appetite for increased drone use is there – it’s up to us and the rest of the commercial drone sector to keep showcasing what drones can do until the majority of the market is employing them to transform the way we manage claims.”

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv provides companies with the in-house capability of drone and data/media delivery services. Our CAMERA system and optimum drone operator platform provides bespoke services be that an on-demand, fully managed service to independent data/media delivery services.

Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology across a range of industries. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure way. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

Posted in Drone Tech, Information, Iprosurv News, Uncategorised

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Drones in post storm inspections for claims progress and validation

Dr Monica Rivas Casaldo, senior lecturer in Integrated Environmental Monitoring at Cranfield University, discusses how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can quickly capture data on urban flooding to give an accurate picture of property damage – meaning interventions to limit damage can be made immediately using Drones in post storm inspections for claims progress and validation could improve your workflow, save time and cost and enhance the customer experience.

The average annual cost of flood damage to property in England is more than £1bn and rising. One in six properties are at risk, and the average cost of the repairs for each property ranges between £10,000 and £50,000.

It’s a cycle of threats, misery and repairs that’s exacerbated by the time involved in assessing costs for insurance claims. Residential and commercial property owners are advised not to undertake any clearing up activity until the damage has been assessed by the insurance company, which is time-consuming and costly to undertake. There can be substantial further costs if any dwellings become uninhabitable and the residents have to move into alternative accommodation.

Flooding North Yorkshire Hebden Bridge 2020

There needs to be detailed understanding of the likelihood of flooding, its likely magnitude and impact in order for there to be the most reliable and effective insurance provision available, with appropriate premiums, excess and loss adjustment. Costs for property owners can be mitigated by adopting different measures, such as resilience and resistance measures (flood guards, hard floor surfaces and waterproof plaster etc) and by making use of insurance products that spread the risk and ensure coverage to as many properties as possible. These will typically cost in the range of £3000 to £10,000 but can significantly reduce the impact of flooding.

Current flood damage assessment

Current flood damage assessment by the insurance industry following an event relies on a combination of door-to-door inspections and remote sensing techniques. Many Canadian insurers, for example, use satellite imagery pre- and post-event to assess risk exposure, estimate the number of claims in an area and assess the need for loss adjusters. Similarly, Swiss Re relies on CatNet, a software system that overlays satellite images onto Google maps enabling an assessment of the extent of the flooded area to be made and to determine where claims will arise. But there are a number of factors that limit the effectiveness of remote sensing methods: spatio-temporal coverage may not be available for the required zone and period; optical imagery cannot provide information if there is low cloud cover; satellite data that can penetrate cloud cover has an oblique viewing angle which makes it difficult to discriminate water from other urban features. Also, current remote sensing approaches don’t provide enough detail to assess the effects of micro-topography in streets and the presence of property flood resistance measures.

New UAV Studies

New results from a study of the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to capture data on urban flooding has demonstrated their potential as a more effective alternative. UAV aerial imagery offers both timely (on-demand) and increasingly detailed (higher resolution) information than comparable satellite or aircraft imagery. UAVs can also be deployed to assist in the response to flooding in conditions and areas that are not accessible by manned aircraft or helicopters. In the last five years, the use of UAV technology has increased exponentially with a varied range of commercial platforms (rotary blade, fixed wing, and nano and hybrid drones) and sensors. An estimated 600 UAVs were used globally in 2015 by police, firefighters, humanitarian relief, and disaster management, with the number being used doubling on a yearly basis.

Initial research

Initial research was carried out at the time of the major Cockermouth flooding at the end of 2015. As a result of storm Desmond, a total of 466 properties were flooded due to flood risk management structures being overtopped and outflanked. The event was a consequence of heavy rainfall over an extended period with more than 300 mm of rain falling over a 24 hour period, which translated into flows in the Derwent River of 395 m3 s−1 at the Ouse Bridge gauging station and 170 m3 s−1 at the Cocker Southwaite River gauging station. The estimated annual exceedance probability for the observed event was less than 1% for both rainfall and river flows.

Fixed Wing Drones

A fixed wing platform UAV was selected for the survey to maximise area coverage under the rainy and gusty conditions. The Sirius-Pro platform had a 163 cm wingspan and a length of 120 cm, able to fly for up to 50 minutes, and equipped with a16 megapixel Panasonic GX-1 on-board camera. Images were used to identify the flood impact and extent, with each point being assigned a confidence level (high, medium, or low) describing the uncertainty associated with its impact classification and the potential for the impact to have been generated from any other source rather than flood. The raw UAV high-resolution imagery was used to reduce the level of uncertainty when possible. The resulting flood impact point database was used to identify residential property that could have been flooded during Desmond.

The direct tangible losses (domestic clean-up, household inventory damage, and building fabric damage) for the affected properties were calculated using a UK specific methodology. The losses (without VAT or other indirect taxes) for a residential property of a given type and age (for example, pre-1919 detached, 1975–1985 semi-detached, and 1919–1944 flat) were estimated based on the flood water depth within the property. Residential properties with directly observable resistance measures (i.e., flood aperture guards for doors and windows, flood resistant airbricks, and raised doors or steps leading to a property) were also taken into account, alongside the type of flooding (overbank topping, pluvial run-off, and groundwater) affecting the property.

Results

The results from the UAV analysis were compared with those from the classic door-to-door approach (assumed to deliver 100% accuracy). The UAV framework was found to provide an accuracy in the detection of flooded properties of 84%. The results also highlighted the importance of considering all sources of flooding even when an event is largely thought to be fluvial in nature. It is important in the initial evaluation of an event to consider flooding from all sources not just from the overtopping of flood risk management structures. There were significant levels of pluvial and lateral flow flooding, with a total of £3.6 million in direct tangible losses assigned to 168 properties outside the fluvial flood extent. This comprises 36% of the total direct tangible losses associated with all sources of flooding in Cockermouth during this event. These properties were not initially identified as being flooded as the initial responses focused on the fluvial flood extent. Resistance measures present within the area resulted in a considerable reduction in direct tangible losses (£4 million). The work presented here also highlighted the importance in selecting accurate remote sensing loss-adjustment approaches, with a discrepancy in direct tangible losses between the two approaches tested of around £1 million.

The UAV approach will facilitate a better and faster estimation of the extent and impact of a flooding event, a more rapid evaluation of the affected area and the associated damage costs, also enabling loss adjusters to prioritise their individual household impact assessments. What’s needed now is further development of the system to allow for a more automated process and near-real-time data.

Posted in Drone Tech, General Interest, Information, Iprosurv News

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Are we nearing the drone tipping point?

In the beginning

Rebecca Jones CEO Iprosurv

Rebecca Jones is the CEO and Co-founder of Iprosurv: When we started Iprosurv, we knew we didn’t just have to build a business. In many ways we, along with all the other commercial drone providers, had to build a whole new sector from scratch and that is no easy task.

And when you are targeting the insurance sector, not necessarily known for its ability to embrace change, that task becomes much harder. But in the last seven or so years, we have made good progress in insurance and our pilots are regularly instructed on a range of insurance projects from building inspections to flood damage assessment and everything in between.

Slow progress

If I’m honest though, the progress has been slower than we imagined. We have spent an inordinate amount of time with individual businesses across the insurance spectrum, showing them what drones can do and how they can make a range of insurance processes much more efficient, safe and cost effective.

Slow Progress

That hands-on approach works but it takes time, time that I’m not sure the insurance industry has if it is to digitise its processes in the way it says it wants to. But according to some recent research conducted by Research in Insurance in conjunction with Iprosurv, we could be about to reach a tipping point in the adoption of drones in insurance.

Open door?

When asked if they would use drones if they reduced the claims life cycle (which we have proven they do), not one insurer said that they wouldn’t use them with only 6% of brokers ruling the idea out. That sounds like an open door for Iprosurv but if this is the case, why isn’t every insurer and broker using them?

When asked why they hadn’t yet adopted drones, 54% of respondents said it was because they didn’t have the influence to introduce them to the business and around a third said there was a lack of appetite higher up in the organisation.

This research shows that appetite for using drones was highest among employees at support levels which suggests that we have some work to do to convince the decision makers (who aren’t necessarily at the front line) of the benefits of drones. Their people appear to want to use them so why aren’t management responding?

Education and understanding is key

It seems clear that this challenge is on us, the drone providers. Nearly a third of insurers (32%) and 28% of brokers admitted that they just don’t understand the tech with 11% of insurers and 30% of brokers saying they don’t see a need.

It’s clear there is an education job here for all commercial drone providers. While those on the front line may see the potential benefit, they are not the ones whose necks are on the line when it comes to making the decision to use them.

So it’s on us as providers to ensure that the decision makers ‘get it’ and can see for themselves that drones offer a completely new way of managing not just claims but also conducting surveys for risk management.

Cost benefits?

We need to show them not just the tech, but the practical cost benefits that they can bring to almost any organisation. And we need to show them that drones are set to play a key role in the industry-wide drive towards digitisation.

When asked what kind of technology they would like to see used more in the industry, drones proved to be the fifth most popular behind automated claims processing, claims portals, greater us of videos and cameras and the introduction of claims apps, out of a total of 20 choices.

Everything appears to be in place. Frontline employees get it. Organisations see drones playing a key role in digitisation. And not one insurer said that they wouldn’t use drones if they reduced the claims life cycle.

Keeping the faith

These are really solid foundations to build upon and if we can educate and convince decision makers that drones are safe, the data they produce is handled compliantly and that they can streamline processes that have remained largely unchanged for decades, we may finally get to that tipping point.

Everything everyone in the commercial drone sector has done to date is having an impact. The research shows that. Now we just need to keep the faith.

The appetite is there but it is being dampened by lingering suspicions about drone technology. That is the bit we need to crack, I think. That is the bit that is preventing us from reaching tipping point. And it is that bit that we all now need to focus on.

From this point on, it has to be all about education, education, education. Once we deliver that, there’s no telling how integral drones may become in insurance.

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About

Established in 2014, Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology in the insurance industry and beyond. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure manner. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

Posted in Drone Tech, General Interest, Information, Iprosurv News

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We Will Remember Them 11/11/2021


With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.


Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal,
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation,
And a glory that shines upon her tears.


They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.


They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.


But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known,
As the stars are known to the night.


As the stars will be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Posted in General Interest, Information, Iprosurv News

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Iprosurv: Leading the way to a more professional sector

Andrew Hamilton, Iprosurv’s new Director of Training and Development, talks about how he believes training and practical experience are the only way the commercial drone sector will secure the public trust that it needs to thrive.

It’s always exciting to start out on a new part of your career but joining Iprosurv as Director of Training and Development is particularly exciting as it feels we are on the cusp of something big.

Rebecca, the CEO of Iprosurv, will tell you that getting industry switched on to the potential of drones wasn’t an overnight thing and she and co-founder Shane have spent the last seven years convincing the world of business, one sector and one organisation at a time, that drones can revolutionise their operations.

And of course, they’ve not been alone in that – there are a growing number of commercial drone operators up and down the country doing the same and it is great to see them turning more and more organisations on to drones.

But that growth comes with a risk. There is still a general wariness of drones and while some organisations have plunged in, the majority are still dipping their toe to see what happens.

What every company experiences when they try drones for the first time, will have an impact on their perception of the drone sector and that one experience with one pilot can have serious consequences for all of us. Our collective reputation is at risk with every flight undertaken which is why it is so important that every flight is performed to the highest standards.

While it is a concern, it is also a huge opportunity for everyone in the sector which is why I’m so excited to have joined Iprosurv and to get started on the training.

My introduction to drones

I got into training by accident really. In 2013, I bought my first Phantom 1 with GoPro Hero 3 camera attached and after completing my drone training I was awarded my first PfCO in October 2014.

At the time, I was a serving Police Officer on the Roads Policing Unit where I was involved in investigating fatal road traffic collisions. At the time, we relied on the police helicopter to provide the aerial footage for our investigations but during one investigation the police helicopter was redeployed to a life-threatening incident and I was unable to get the aerial footage I needed.

So I decided to bring my drone out on patrol with me. Looking at the data the drone had collected was a big moment as we could all see in that one deployment how much more efficient and effective they could be.

I retired from the Police in 2016 but returned in 2017 to set up the first dedicated Police drone unit in the UK with up to 40 pilots and 15 drones. After their initial PfCO courses the drone unit would then teach the officers to fly drones in policing situations which is when my passion for teaching and training revealed itself.

That passion took to me to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as their UAS Sector lead, where I led a team dealing with OSC applications, auditing, oversight and enforcement of drone operators.

From there I became the Lead Instructor for an RAE delivering drone training on behalf of the CAA. The role of an RAE is to assist the CAA in assuring the competence of remote pilots that require an Operational Authorisation through the General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC).

The competency of UA pilots involved in the operation of an unmanned aircraft is one of the main factors in ensuring UA operations remain tolerably safe and give confidence for this industry.

And that was me – hooked on training new drone pilots and providing real flight time experience to them.

It’s all about professionalism

One of the key things that attracted me to Iprosurv was Rebecca and Shane’s commitment to high standards of training for all their pilots and their insistence that the sector had to become more professional if it was ever to fully realise its potential.

The training and development of all pilots in the Iprosurv network, supporting them as they take the step in flight ability and safety, is my number one priority and the more training we provide in new technology, techniques and regulatory requirements, the more professional our pilots will become.

As that professionalism starts to act as a differentiator for Iprosurv, others will hopefully be galvanised to similarly invest in best practice and training. Everyone operating in the commercial drone sector needs to continually challenge themselves and their peers to achieve ever higher standards.

If we do that for ourselves and for each other, I am convinced that we will all secure the trust from the public and from business that we need to ensure that commercial drones secure their rightful place as an intrinsic part of the economy.

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology in the insurance industry and beyond. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure manner. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

Posted in Drone Tech, General Interest, Information, Iprosurv News

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Training and professionalism come to the fore as Iprosurv hires former CAA drone sector lead

Andrew Hamilton, former Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) sector lead for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has joined one of the UK’s leading drone services providers, Iprosurv as Training and Development Director.

Ongoing Training and Mentoring

In his new role, Hamilton will be responsible for providing practical and theoretical training in the use of commercial drones to members of Pilot Partnerships, Iprosurv’s growing drone pilot network.

With nearly a decade’s experience in commercial drone flight, Hamilton brings a huge amount of training experience to Iprosurv having set up the UK’s first dedicated police drone unit with Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and having acted as lead instructor for a Recognised Assessment Entity on behalf of the CAA.

As all Iprosurv pilots are fully trained and licensed, Hamilton’s role will focus on providing ongoing training and mentoring in new technology and deployment techniques, education on developing regulation and providing practical training for new pilots.

Pilot Partners Highest Industry Standards

Commenting on the appointment, Rebecca Jones, CEO and co-founder of Iprosurv, said: “Andy brings a huge amount of personal flight experience and, most importantly, in training other pilots so we are delighted to have him on board.

“Iprosurv has always had a clear mission to hold ourselves and our pilots to the highest professional and technical standards and with Andy joining us, we can take that to the next level.”

While Hamilton will start work with members of Pilot Partnerships with immediate effect, he has begun the approval process of securing CAA approved training entity status for Iprosurv.

“After gaining your CAA Operational Authorisation, technically, a pilot is eligible to operate a drone in a very congested area like central London,” said Hamilton.

“The standards set by the CAA are high but the opportunity to gain the skills and experience after qualification is missing at the moment and that is the gap I hope to help Iprosurv fill. In much the same way that the Pass Plus is often used by new drivers, we want to introduce the Pass Plus for drone flight.

Training Consistency

“There are many thousands of commercial drone pilots operating in the UK but there is still a huge variation in quality and flight experience. We have to tackle that lack of consistency if we are going to earn the necessary trust of the public and the private sectors.”

Pilot Partnerships was set up earlier this year to provide a professional home for the thousands of independent pilots across the country, delivering consistent training and flight management processes and embedding strong professional standards.

“We are just one of many commercial drone providers in the UK, but what makes Iprosurv pilots stand out is the level of experience they have and the rigorous and continuous training they undertake,” said Jones.

“With Andy joining us, our pilots now have access to one of the most experienced individuals in the market in training and development and we look forward to introducing his expertise to more and more pilots across the country.”

Contact

For further information, contact martin.friel@iprosurv.com

About Iprosurv

Established in 2014, Iprosurv is a pioneer in the provision of drone technology in the insurance industry and beyond. Its current network of pilots, covering the entirety of the UK, use a proprietary system to record, store and deliver drone data to clients in a fast and secure manner. From building surveys to flood response to assisting emergency services, Iprosurv continues to push the boundaries of how drones can be used in business.

Posted in General Interest, Information, Iprosurv News

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The only perspective is the customer perspective.

One of the industry’s most enthusiastic early adopters of drone technology, Zurich Insurance saw that drones can get places humans can’t and get there quicker too.

Zurich’s UK Chief Claims Officer, David Nichols

So, when Zurich’s UK Chief Claims Officer, David Nichols had a personal roof damage claim, he was keen to see if drones delivered what he thought they did.

And here he gives us some insight from a unique perspective – a claims director experiencing the claims service firsthand.

Delivering a top notch service

As a claims director, you want to be pretty confident that your teams are delivering a top notch service and that the customer experience is always excellent but there is no greater test of your service than being ‘fortunate’ enough to experience claims services yourself. I have to say that everything was what I hoped it would be!

Anyway, the claim went smoothly but the bit I was particularly interested in experiencing was some new technology we have introduced to our claims service – drones.

Smoothing out the claims process

We started using them because we thought it sounded like a great idea. Of course, the decision-making was more detailed than that but in essence, we have been looking for everything and anything that can speed up and smooth out the claims process for customers and drones seemed to be a simple, cost-effective way of doing that.

The obvious, immediate use is in claims where we can’t access the site such as in major floods or fires. Drones provide immediate access, but they also provide detailed imagery, measurements and a host of other data, putting our claims teams on the front foot.

It speeds up our processes and brings the customer closer to a clear decision, either way, in hours rather than weeks.

Iprosurv media viewing page for customers and clients

But there is an added benefit to using drones – customer engagement. The ability to share images of the damage with a customer and being able to explain next steps immediately provides reassurance and we are able to bring the customer into the claims conversation in a way we haven’t been able to before. Images provide the immediate truth of a situation.

But there is an added benefit to using drones – customer engagement. The ability to share images of the damage with a customer and being able to explain next steps immediately provides reassurance and we are able to bring the customer into the claims conversation in a way we haven’t been able to before. Images provide the immediate truth of a situation.

More than that, this approach can also bring the customer’s knowledge of their business or property into play to help us allocate resources in the most effective way. For example, we had a factory fire earlier this year. By using the images captured by the drone, the client was able to indicate to us the location of their machinery, what parts of the operation were critical and what parts could wait. This allowed us to shape our response in a more informed and targeted way.

Personal experience

All of this makes using drones in claims a bit of a no-brainer for me. The clincher was when I experienced it for myself through a personal claim. My roof was damaged in the storms this year and obviously the extent of the damage had to be understood before the claim could go any further.

A drone was deployed within days of registering the claim. Within an hour of the drone being on site, I was shown imagery of the damage by the drone operator who then explained the next steps to me.

I did not have to wait for scaffolding to be set up or a cherry picker to be deployed. I was also brought into the conversation surrounding my claim at the earliest stage. It was fast, completely unobtrusive and I felt included in the process. Exactly the kind of experience I hoped drones would bring to our customers.

Only scratching the surface

This is only scratching the surface though. Drones capture a huge amount of detailed data and I see no reason why this can’t be deployed more widely such as with the building estimation tools that we all use. Any process that can be automated to create a better customer experience has to be embraced.

And why stop at claims? There are obvious applications in a broad range of services, and we will continue to explore these. Imagine a process where we have the detailed drone data at policy inception stage and detailed drone data at the claim stage? Those data sets can ‘speak’ to each other, giving greater clarity, faster decision making and greater levels of transparency for all parties.

The tools are there – where next?

We can do that. The tools are there. As individual firms and as an industry, we just need to have the foresight and the confidence to use them to their full extent. What started as a “why not?” at Zurich is now a “where next?”.

Posted in Drone Tech, General Interest, Information, Iprosurv News

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