Hi-tech drones are proving their worth
Last year Tararua District Council moved into the hi-tech world of drones as part of its long planned drone project to build capacity around new technology.
At the time a number of councils were already using the technology and noting the benefits when it came to inspection work especially around bridges and roading, where they were found to be particularly effective.
Tararua District Council, Projects Specialist Ray Borrie, says when council first purchased its three drones they could see the benefit of them for road surveying and mapping council cemetery’s and parks.
"We have one which is very portable and is a very useful tool especially for civil engineers who can take an overview of drop outs, slips and culverts very quickly.
"One is able to take a top mounted camera which enables us to look under bridges and take video at high detail, something we had no way of doing before.
"The same drone can be fitted with a Thermal Camera and a high resolution 4K camera able to be used for firefighting to identify hot spot areas and as a search and rescue tool.
"All the drones are capable of measuring volumes of earthworks; they’ve taken away any guesswork."
The drones are GPS based and can be used for a multitude of jobs such as mapping, doing surveys of buildings and providing 2D and 3D images.
With cameras that are capable of taking stunning images and film footage, they are perfect for showcasing the beautiful Tararua District and promoting tourism. They have already been used to take film footage of the ‘Waihi Falls’ which will be used at COVI Motorhome Show later this year.
Mr Borrie attended a three day course at Massey University to gain his RPAS pilot’s license. Although not compulsory he says there are a lot of regulations you have to adhere to and the course is all about educating people.
"These are massive tools with huge potential; we really haven’t touched on all we can do with them yet."