Upstate New York-based Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has announced its membership in the Property Drone Consortium, a collaboration of insurance carriers, construction industry stakeholders and supporting enterprises.
RIT says it is currently the only university in the consortium, and the affiliation could lead to funding for graduate students to work on problems of interest to the consortium, according to David Messinger, director of RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. Specifically, he anticipates research opportunities that focus on roof inspections.
The organization promotes research, development, and the establishment of regulations on standards for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) across the insurance and construction industries. Research focuses on collecting and processing images for inspection and damage detection of building exteriors, as well as safety initiatives such as collision avoidance and automated flight planning.
The Property Drone Consortium is led by Gary Sullivan, chairman, and Charles Mondello, president. Charter members include Allstate Corp., American Family Insurance, Auto Owners Insurance, Erie Insurance, EagleView Technologies Inc. and Pilot Catastrophe Services. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety serves as technology advisor, and the National Roofing Contractors Association is an honorary member of the collaboration.
RIT recently named remote sensing with UAS as a signature research initiative at the university. The interdisciplinary program, based in the imaging science center, will receive $1 million over the next five years to work on challenges facing the industry.
Photo: David Messinger, director of RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science