Bristow Group Inc., a Houston-based company that provides helicopter transport to the energy sector, said it’s investing $4.2 million in Sky-Futures, a U.K. startup that uses drones to conduct engineering surveys of off-shore oil and gas rigs.
The investment is an indicator of the growing importance of unmanned vehicles in industrial settings — and the way in which such tools and the software they carry are transforming surveying and inspection jobs in settings ranging from residential real estate to deep sea oil platforms.
The story here is ROI, ROI, ROI. The rig operators have been hammered by low prices and are desperate to cut costs wherever they can – especially if they can improve safety at the same time – who ever hear of that combination before?
According to the article, it currently takes a team of specialists 8 weeks to inspect an oil rig. Now it can be done in 5 days by a drone with no risk to the silly humans. This is a nice deal for Sky-Futures (the UK drone company) – seems like it will help them scale more quickly. Interesting angle on analytics too.