Last week JLL stopped by Techweek Chicago for a lesson on drones. Already in use for security, logistics and scientific purposes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming all the rage in commercial real estate for building tours, property management and submarket overviews.
At Robots to the Rescue: The Evolution of Unmanned Vehicles, hosted by BuiltWorlds, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and Techweek Chicago, experts demonstrated DJI’s Inspire 1 drone, above.
Chinese technology firm DJI has been moving to custom-developed sensors as they work to further dampen vibrations and smooth out video footage. This latest model can be controlled from one mile away and fly far beyond line of site, though that’s still prohibited by current regulations. Video can be transmitted from up to 1.25 miles away. Potential for one- or two-man control of the camera and flyer means users can achieve greater than 360-degree shots over the course of the device’s 18-minute flight time.
As evidenced at the event, the $4,000 Inspire 1 can fly inside in “altitude mode,” which allows it to hover in one spot using a barometer or following a ground pattern. With the dynamic, GPS-enabled “go home” feature, the drone can return to your location even when you’re on the move.
As drone technology develops, its biggest hurdle will be murky federal regulation and licensing processes. In the meantime, expect the commercial real estate industry, from brokers to contractors, to continue submitting applications for FAA licenses to help their business soar to new heights.