Rent a Drone
A consulting group will help you with it
A strategic consulting firm called 32 Advisors has announced the creation of a drone subsidiary called Measure. Rather than build or sell drones, the US-based company will offer what it calls “Drone as a Service”. Think Rent-a-Drone. Companies that believe they might have use for a drone — but don’t have the money, expertise, or interest to buy, run and maintain their own drone or drone fleet — could hire Measure to do it for them. Chief Executive Officer Brandon Torres Declet is a former legislative aide and lobbyist specialising in homeland security issues. Here’s what he says about it: “We provide a ‘Drone as a Service’ platform, a turnkey solution. So if an oil and gas company tells us, ‘Look, we have to fly our pipeline every two weeks,’ we’ll provide the drone, the operator, the sensor or other payload, and fly it for them.” At a time when drones are getting cheaper and widely available, why not just buy one’s own? The answer, says Declet, is that while a quadcopter bought from Amazon is fine for a hobbyist, patrolling hundreds of miles of pipeline or monitoring an industrial-level farm requires larger, more expensive, harder-to-fly aircraft able to stay aloft much longer and fly much farther.
That’s the sort of craft that currently patrols the skies of Yemen and Pakistan looking for and killing terrorists. Measure is quick to say that it will not offer its services for military uses. In addition to agriculture and oil and gas, Declet believes there will be demand in search-and-rescue operations, the protection of endangered wildlife, police investigations, real estate photography and so forth. He mentions shipping, an idea Jeff Bezos famously floated.
The company doesn’t yet have clients, though it is talking with a few potential ones, Declet says. For now, Measure cannot operate in the US— the FAA is still formulating rules and regulations for commercial drone use and is scheduled to release them by 2015.
Meanwhile, if anyone tries to appropriate the phrase “Drone as a Service,” Measure will not hesitate, says Declet, to take legal action.