Call For Drone Inspections In New York After Architect Death

  • New York City officials are pushing to legalise the use of drones for building inspections after the death of architect Erica Tishman;
  • DJI shows the M210 RTK drone with the Z30 zoom camera and XT2 thermal camera, which can improve safety, cut costs, and boost efficiency;
  • “I believe using drones to inspect buildings is something that we must embrace for the future,” says Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams;
  • Read case studies of Heliguy clients who have benefited from using the M200 Series drones, the Z30 and the XT2.

DJI has shown New York City officials how an M200 Series drone can improve safety and increase efficiency – amid calls to legalise the use of drones for building inspections after an architect was killed by falling debris.

The proposal has been announced by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, following the death of Erica Tishman in Manhattan last month.

While it is currently illegal to fly a drone in most of the city, the proposed bill would allow the technology as a means to speed up the inspection of buildings and improve the safety of people in the city.

During a press conference, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said it was crucial to embrace this technology, while DJI representatives outlined the many benefits of utilising drones, focusing on the DJI M210 RTK, the Z30 zoom camera and XT2 thermal camera.

DJI officials present the M210 RTK. Picture from CBS New York video.

Drones, such as the M200 Series (incorporating the M200, M210 and M210 RTK) and their associated payloads, increase safety by accessing difficult to reach areas and taking staff away from potentially dangerous situations; enhance results by capturing detailed and accurate data; and increase efficiency and reduce costs by covering large areas quicker than traditional methods.

For example, check out the image below. It shows how a Z30 integrated with a M200 Series drone can be a powerful tool for fast and safe roof inspection.

Further proof of the capabilities of the Z30 is seen in this video, taken during a coastal survey in Essex.

What They Said: ‘Drones Are A Tool That Save Time, Money And Most Importantly, Lives’

Erica Tishman’s death has sparked a call for change and an adjustment to the law which would allow drones to be used for building inspection.

President Adams said: “It is crucial to use this technology. It is not a toy, it is a tool which will save millions of dollars, time, and most importantly, it could actually save lives. I believe using drones to inspect buildings is something that we must embrace for the future.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Picture from CBS New York video.

“The death of Erica Tishman tells us that we must embrace technology to find a safer way to inspect buildings. Using drones will take us to a new height in carrying out that inspection.”

Council Member Justin Brannan added: “We need to be more than a reactive city, we need to be a proactive city. The city needs to embrace drone technology for these situations.

Council Member Justin Brannan. Picture from CBS New York video.

“Using drones for building inspections will not only increase safety, but it will greatly increase efficiency and save taxpayers a whole load of money. If there is a tool that we can use to do that which keeps our city safer and more efficient, then why aren’t we using it?

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in government to create a real framework to use drones legally, efficiently, and safely in the city of New York and make sure Erica’s death is not in vain.”

Highlighting The Benefits Of Drone Technology

DJI used the press conference to highlight the capabilities of the M200 Series drone and the Z30 and XT2.

The M200 Series is a rugged platform for industrial and enterprise use. This reliable and versatile tool has an IP43 Rating, a maximum flight time of 38 minutes and can be integrated with a range of top-class and state-of-the-art cameras and sensors, including the XT2 and Z30.

The Zenmuse Z30 is a powerful integrated aerial zoom camera with 30x optical and 6x digital zoom for a total magnification up to 180x. This enables you to get a detailed look at structures, wires, modules and components to detect damage, and, as a result of letting you conduct inspections from a distance without the need to fly close, not only is speed and efficiency of your operations increased, but risk of collision is obviated.

The XT2 transforms aerial data into powerful insights that save time, money and lives. It boasts a 12MP visual camera, while its thermal sensor can carry out temperature checks and identify hotspots. Using the XT2, you can quickly interpret data with details from the visual image overlaid on the thermal data stream.

Explaining the benefits of using an M200, along with a Z30 and XT2, Mr Santucci, DJI’s Senior Communication Manager, said: “Drones are being used across the world to increase safety.

“The DJI M210 is a state-of-the-art drone with a dual camera and gimbal system. We have a thermal camera which can detect temperature changes, such as issues with a facade, and we have a zoom camera which can zoom in on that point to inspect it further.

DJI’s Patrick Santucci. Picture from CBS New York video.

“The drone can fly around the building and take photos and videos with both or either of the cameras so you can refer to that (the data) at a later point.

“A drone can’t repair a building, but it can help spot issues early on – quicker and most importantly, safer, compared to traditional methods.

“I am happy to see forward-thinking elected officials like President Adams and Councillor Brennan who want to encourage the city to use drones in meaningful ways like this.

The DJI M210 RTK with Z30 and XT2. Picture from CBS New York video.

“Drones are bringing enormous benefits to people, cities and businesses across the world. We hope New York City can catch up and affirm that using drones in the city is welcomed and legal to use across all the boroughs.”

Heliguy is a DJI Gold Partner and European Enterprise winner and supplies M200 Series drones to a range of enterprise clients across public safety and inspection. To find out how Heliguy can support, scale or start your enterprise drone programme with an M200 Series drone, give us a call or send us an email. UK-based Heliguy recently launched in America, with a base in Texas, to supply the USA.

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