Drones doing dangerous jobs

These drones aim to aid in search & rescue efforts and keep employees out of dangerous situations.

KUSA - If you’re ever lost and need to be found, you’d want Brian Dillman leading the search.

“I’ve actually been with the organization for 53 years,” Dillman said.

Dillman is an operations captain with Boulder Emergency Squad, a volunteer group that provides free technical rescue in Boulder County. Dillman has more search and rescue experience than most, but even he would admit his legs can’t cover as much ground as a drone.

“I think you’ll see very rapidly the efficiencies of the air use,” Dillman said to the crowd of industry professionals gathered at the Elbert County Fairgrounds.

Dillman and a couple of his colleagues came to the fairgrounds on Friday to help demonstrate the latest professional drones from DJI called the Matrice 200 Series.

“We’re here evaluating the Matrice 210,” Dillman said. “Looking to see if it would meet our future need for this year.”

Dillman said his team already uses three DJI drones to help in search and rescue missions. He said the drones can search an acre in about a minute. The newest DJI drones can support four different types of cameras with impressive zoom capabilities and even thermal imaging. Two cameras can be mounted on the drones at the same time.

“If we’re looking for missing people we can find them in a much shorter period of time,” Dillman said.

DJI representatives demoed the drones and showed how they could be used in a variety of industries.

“We’re seeing this year more and more people are using drones for professional purposes,” Adam Lisberg said, corporate communications director for DJI.

From search and rescue, to construction site mapping and all sorts of aerial inspections, the drones can be used to perform traditionally dangerous jobs.

“People don’t realize, but climbing cell towers and power line towers and TV transmission towers is one of the most dangerous jobs in America,” Lisberg said.

On Friday, the DJI reps flew one of the Matrice drones around a cell tower to simulate an inspection.

“You can zoom in and you can look at those bolts, you can look at those wires, you can search for evidence of metal fatigue,” Lisberg explained.

Efficient drones could replace certain jobs and they’ve already changed many of them.

“Work expands and takes advantage of new technological advances,” Lisberg said. “Frankly we’re really excited to be in a field where technological advances are able to save time, save money, make people’s jobs safer, even save lives.”

After 53 years on the job, Brian Dillman has learned to adapt to new technology and he wouldn’t mind adding another drone to his fleet.   

“It’s like having free toys that are being used for a good purpose,” he said. “I’d like to say it isn’t, but it really is fun.”

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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