Software Company Brings in Drones for Enhancing, Automating Facility Inspections

AkitaBox, a Madison, Wis.-based facility management software company that automates maintenance, planning and inspections, will be working with PrecisionHawk, a provider of commercial drone technologies, to integrate aerial drone data into its facility management workflow.

Using the PrecisionHawk platform, a user can fly a drone for data capture and automatically generate a 3D point cloud, 2D orthographic views and 3D mesh data models that can then be fed into AkitaBox for further analysis and long-term planning, says PrecisionHawk.

“Building inspection software can gather HVAC, grounds, building envelope and other asset information from drones into a report faster than an in-person inspection,” says Josh Lowe, chief customer officer at AkitaBox. “PrecisionHawk brings an easy-to-use, cost-effective and timely platform that gives our clients a complete picture of their external assets that can be used for everything from facility maintenance to cost-planning.”

For example, aerial imagery can be used to record how heavy equipment, temporary structures and assets are stored and maintained on-site for insurance regulation requirements. Daily flights can also audit site conditions to identify any potential hazards, improve traceability, reduce project delays, minimize rental losses due to misplaced parts and equipment, improve logistic planning, and help locate assets on a site map using real-time data.

PrecisionHawk’s “Smarter Package” includes a drone equipped with sensors and software that allow for the automatic, visual assessment of all external areas of a site and places that otherwise would be difficult to see. This process eliminates the need for a project manager to physically inspect every aspect of a site, explains PrecisionHawk.

“As drone data capture becomes more readily available to businesses, we believe that there are massive opportunities to improve and simplify the facility management workflow and show a clear differentiation from legacy systems that aren’t adaptive,” says Jeff Freund, vice president of construction at PrecisionHawk. “AkitaBox understands the facilities process and the gaps that drone data can fill. By integrating PrecisionHawk technology, they are providing their customers with another layer of information on top of their already robust software platform.”

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