Drones are much more than high-tech gadgets. Drone assistants and service providers are increasingly playing a major role. Applications are added on a daily basis, especially in the manufacturing industry, where the development of drones can be viewed from two different perspectives. On one hand, drones are used in production and are integrated into the processes. On the other hand, it is the industry that manufactures the drones and their components.

By the manufacturing industry, …

Belgium has various leading companies that play a prominent role in drone production, integration and development. More and more IT hardware and software suppliers are working on improving standard drones and broadening the type of tasks the drones can perform. Drone traffic is also a significant factor. There is an increasing number of drones and the traffic must be regulated, requiring Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems.

… for the manufacturing industry!

Drone functionality is currently limited, but this is changing. Companies are using drones for monitoring and for early stock management phases. Appropriate sensors allow drones to measure air quality and other indicators, for example. Drones and robots will soon be combined more and more often as dronebots, equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI). These flying robots will be integrated into production environments and deployed to perform new tasks such as moving objects using robot arms. This future may seem far off, but we are already seeing the first pilot projects.

We should not forget that factories are part of a larger ecosystem: human society. Drones are starting to play a greater role in this aspect too. For example, Smart Automated Transport (transport of raw materials and delivery of finished products) and Smart People Transport (drones as a new means of transport for commuting to work).

Advantages of drones:

  • Respect for the environment
  • Accessibility
  • Data quantity and quality
  • Product data accuracy
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