Coverdrone client secures funding for specialist drone research

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry has grown quickly in recent years, and digitally focused companies are now exploring innovative ways to harness the emerging technologies on offer.

Coverdrone has seen many commercial drone operators utilise the power of their machines as the demand from clients for enhanced services has continued to grow.

Waldeck Consulting is leading the charge to explore unknown elevated territories and to push UAV capabilities to the max, having secured vital research funding from two sources.

In mid-2017 the company was awarded £120,000 worth of government-backed funding to investigate the latest drone advances. Innovate UK supports businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, help develop ideas and make them a commercial success.

Additional backing has also been secured working with University of Huddersfield, with a focus on thermal imaging capability, particularly in the construction sector. This will allow Waldeck to improve the detection and measurement of infrared energy, or temperature of the surface of a material – particularly in the construction industry for solar gain, and also heat loss.

Digital evolution with drones

Founded over twenty years ago, the firm that is headquartered in Sleaford has evolved from providing core engineering services to become specialists in Digital Surveying, Reality Capture, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and even Virtual Reality offerings.

Drones and the quality film and photographic capabilities now associated with commercial UAV hardware is at the heart of this bold new world.

With the research funding in place, Waldeck will be looking at new makes and models of drones which are yet to enter the market – to ensure that their cutting-edge work stays one step ahead of the game.

Mark Greatrix, associate director at Waldeck, said: “We started out as engineers, but we soon realised the importance of new technologies and how the construction industry could benefit.

“We are now a multi-disciplinary consultancy, highly digital-driven in the 3D environment.

“Waldeck engineers have been working with drones for over two years. Client interest has risen sharply, and our team focused on the use of UAVs has grown from two to four people. We’re hoping to increase that to six in 2018, so it’s a significant element of our business.

“With Huddersfield University on board, we have access to passionate and talented developers and engineers. That’s the next phase for us, ensuring that we have the right software and applications in place to make best use of the 3D modelling and data provided by drone image capture.”

A virtual drone future?

The future is exciting. Waldeck have grand ambitions to raise client experiences to new levels, with UAVs integral to that planning. They are also embracing technologies that are still largely experimental.

Virtual Reality (VR) is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with. A user becomes part of this virtual world, or becomes immersed within the environment, and is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

Mark added: “Our priority is getting rich, usable information to our customers much quicker. That means leveraging data faster and getting it into the design environment so that decisions can be made in real time.

“We are working towards, progressing our in-house Virtual Reality team, in order to utilise what drones can offer, linking up solutions, potentially feeding real-time, instantaneously processed imagery to clients. That will cut out double loading of data, saving time and money.”

Learning from companies such as Waldeck is all part of the process for Coverdrone. As they embrace the latest drone hardware upgrades and discover new ways to generate aerial imagery, we adapt and evolve our insurance cover to give the most comprehensive and flexible options to our clients.

We’re excited to see where the commercial drone industry takes us and our customers over the next few years…