Could drones take your business to new heights?

Drone technology might put you in mind of military manoeuvres and secret surveillance, but drones have many useful business applications that are only now beginning to be explored.

Instead of paying for scaffolding, architects and builders can use a drone to survey old buildings by filming chimney stacks and roof tiles; energy firms can save a lot of time and shoe leather by using a drone to monitor for damage to solar arrays and wind turbines; and farmers can keep tabs on how their crop is growing, analyse the moisture retention of the soil and gather data to help them decide which fields need spraying or irrigating.

Search and rescue and fire services are increasingly using drones to look for missing people, sweep an area and review the footage – something which is far more cost-effective than using a helicopter.

Drones can capture extremely high-definition video footage which can be shared online by a number of people, and as a result their usefulness to business is becoming increasingly clear.

There are, however, technical challenges and legal requirements which you must be aware of before you start using a drone in the UK. Anyone planning to fly a drone in UK airspace needs the correct licences and insurance in place as well as permission from the Civil Aviation Authority in many cases.

If you’re interested in using drones for your business but don’t know where to start, our Lincolnshire Technology Hubs can help. We’ve teamed up with Mark Wingad from UAV Aerial Services, one of the few companies in the UK which hold a licence to fly drones at night, to offer expert advice and an affordable service to Lincolnshire businesses.

You can get a better idea of Mark’s work by watching the YouTube video we made with him last year: We gained permission for Mark’s drone to fly over Lincoln Castle and filmed spectacular footage of the important restoration work.

Thanks to our links with the University of Lincoln’s School of Film and Media there are opportunities to work with staff and students who can bring their expertise at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional film company.

If you’d like to find out more contact the Lincoln Technology Hub by calling Mark Aldridge on 01522 886877 or emailing maldridge@lincoln.ac.uk