Drone-in-a-Box market set for growth

Perhaps we should have guessed when DJI announced its own drone nest earlier this year, but research now confirms that the Drone-in-a-Box market is set for a boom in the period 2021 to 2031.

Drone nests have been made cool by pioneers like Airobotics, whose pilotless end-to-end autonomous solution has given their industrial clients a safer, more efficient way of collecting aerial data; Percepto (who, through the Percepto Sparrow, introduced Percepto Autonomous Inspection and Monitoring, an autonomous inspection and monitoring platform that empowers the remote operation centre to assess risk, minimise downtime, drive efficiency, increase safety and reduce operational costs).

“Drone-in-a-Box is a new form of autonomous-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology that uses drones to move and return from self-contained landing ‘boxes’,” explains Transparency Market Research, the company that made the latest forecast into drone nests.

“Most drone flights are manually controlled (‘hand-drive’). A smartphone and/or a remote control is used to take off, fly, and land the drone. The pilot stands in the line of sight – visual proximity to the drone – to keep an eye on it. After about 20 to 30 minutes, the battery capacity runs out and the user has to charge the drone via a charging cable into a socket.

“The drone-in-a-box principle is that drones can fly automatically and autonomously from the drone-in-a-box system.”

There are security-focussed drone nest solutions from companies that include Delta Drone (and their flagship ISS Spotter) and Azur Drones. DJI said it would launch its drone dock late this year; while in the logistics space; Swoop Aero just got approval to autonomously fly drones nested in aviaries in their locations across the world (including in three countries in Africa) from a remote operating centre in Australia.

Other drone companies with the drone nest solutions in their operations include American Robotics, Asylon, DroneHive, Dronematrix, Easy Aerial, Fotokite, H3 Dynamics, Skysense, Avy and SkyX.

“In security applications, the Drone-in-a-Box is used to fly to an area where an alarm has been triggered, to take pictures of the scene. Regular, planned patrol flights are also possible. Additionally, companies are adopting this technology to improve the safety of large events.

“In agriculture, the Drone-in-Box is being utilised for inspection and measuring tasks. With special cameras on the drone, it is possible to recognise changes in vegetation at an early stage.

“Drones-in-a-Box are also used to stream aerial views and data of industrial infrastructure to control rooms in real-time for the maintenance of Industrial Infrastructure. This can help detect gas/water leaks or in a warehouse.

“Lastly, Drones-in-a-Box can help improve the delivery of parcels by automating the delivery process rapidly. In many parts of the world, packing stations have become a helpful way of dropping off parcels in rapid time. If these stations were expanded to include take-off and landing areas for drones, many package deliveries could be automated in the future.”

But while some of these industries have been using drone nests for a number of years now, Transparency Market Research revealed that it is the construction industry that is currently seeing the biggest boom in autonomous drone technology.

“Based on industry vertical, the construction segment of the global drone-in-a-box market is estimated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period due to an increase in use of Drone-in-a-Box for materials and inventory management and progress monitoring – view the progress of projects in real-time applications,” the researcher says.

“Moreover, in the construction industry, mapping a site, inspecting construction sites, building survey applications have grown in popularity, with the goal of delivering real-time data that is accurate and complete for a variety of applications.”

While the traditional industries of agriculture and emergency response were finding new ways to deploy autonomous drones.

“Drone-in-a-Box is also utilised to identify irrigation issues including identification of water leaks, overwatering, plant counting, spacing and weed management, and traffic monitoring.

“Rising adoption of Drone-in-a-Box for various emergency inspection and traffic monitoring applications is further propelling the market.”

The research company goes further to forecast that regionally, North America is anticipated to expand at a high growth rate during the forecast period, ahead of Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East and Africa

“The market in North America is expected to expand at a high growth rate due to the presence of major players in the region and increased competition among them.

“The market in Europe is likely to expand at a consistent pace during the forecast period because of fewer numbers of manufacturers present in the region.”

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