AWTG: Using an AI Assisted Matrice 210 for Search & Rescue

This month the COPTRZ team had the opportunity to catch up with Ian Vernon, Head of Technology at Advanced Wireless Technology Group (AWTG), who recently kickstarted their Artificial Intelligence (AI) drone strategy. Ian first contacted COPTRZ a number of months ago at the start of his project. After an initial consultation, COPTRZ were able to recommend a full DJI Matrice 210 package that could be easily developed with third-party software by AWTG technicians.

Read on to find out what Ian told us about AWTG’s future plans for drones, how they are using the DJI M210’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, as well as their experience with one of the most popular commercial drones on the market.

An Introduction to AWTG

AWTG is an end-to-end engineering services and technology solutions provider for companies in Telecommunications, Smart Cities, Industry 4.0, New Media, Internet, as well as other markets that employ digital technologies.

AWTG’s technology solution covers Digital Transformation, Rapid Prototyping, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Everything and Software. With more than 550 engineers and 8 offices globally AWTG delivers services and solutions for enterprises, cities and communities. Today, AWTG is at the forefront of mobile technology, internet of things, connectivity solutions and the use of drones with artificial intelligence.

Using an AI Assisted DJI Matrice 210

It’s easy to see why AWTG chose the M210 as their commercial drone solution. It has revolutionised the commercial drone market, becoming the drone of choice for those looking for a rugged, waterproof, hard-wearing platform with dual payload capabilities. It also benefits from an open onboard SDK, allowing developers to expand the capabilities of the drone for third-party sensor telemetry, aircraft control and video feeds.

Photo captured during recent DJI Enterprise Demo Day. Payload featuring bespoke fitted spotlight and Zenmuse XT2.

Reducing costs with AI-assisted drones

How is AWTG using drones?

“At AWTG, UAVs or drones are integrated with our AI (Artificial Intelligence). This platform allows us to command, control and navigates the drones without the need for a human pilot. These use cases are fully automated.

We currently deploy drones for several use cases from the following:

  • Rapid emergency response
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Facilities survey
  • Perimeter security
  • Land survey

By having the AI navigate and manage the drones we are able to reduce the cost of operations for our customers. We manage this by using our AI solution which is integrated to other connected devices.

It’s currently being used by our development team to develop more capabilities of our Artificial Intelligence (AI) Platform. They use various payloads and the drones are deployed for preventive maintenance of enterprise facilities.

For the M210 we will be deploying it on a wider scale based on the use cases that we do. However, currently due to its size it will be limited to enterprises and industries as well as outside built-up areas.”

Dual payload capabilities

“The ability to swap payloads based on a use case is one of the best features of the M210. With the M210 benefiting from both upward and downward facing gimbals, it allows you to be able to choose your payloads based on the needs of the operation you’re undertaking.”

Sidenote, the M210 is compatible with the following cameras: DJI Zenmuse Z30, DJI Zenmuse X4S, DJI Zenmuse X5S, DJI Zenmuse XT and the DJI Zenmuse XT2 (adaptor required). 

AWTG Emergency Response Solution

How has the M210 enhanced your emergency response capabilities?

“The addition of a module payload has enabled us to use different payloads depending on the actual situation that we are in.

The situations can range from a simple search and rescue to a rescue where we actually have to provide physical assistance. The M210’s spotlight feature is excellent for search and rescue as it allows you to lock onto a selected subject during flight. The aircraft still continues to move freely.”

AWTG Emergency Response Solution from Ian Vernon, Head of Technology at AWTG on Vimeo.

Do you use any additional payloads on your M210?

“At the moment, we mostly use cameras as additional payloads. AWTG are however starting to integrate payloads such as lights and speakers to help us with our search and rescue operations.

We are also beginning to add 4G and 5G connectivity to our M210. We use these for our beyond the line of sight missions.”

Side note: At COPTRZ we offer courses introducing you to beyond visual line of sight missions (BVLoS). The course will give you the basic knowledge and skills required in all the vital areas required to make a successful application to regulatory authorities and how to conduct BVLoS flying safely. Read more here.

Summary

AWTG is clearly paving the way when it comes to tapping into the benefits of pairing artificial intelligence with drones. Although they are very much at the start of their project, it’s exciting to see how AI has been used to take arguably the most successful commercial drone to the next level. The technology developed by AWTG is both cost and time effective in emergency response situations and it will be exciting to see this being used in more real-life use cases in the future. As always, when considering a project of this scope it is important to choose a reliable hardware and software supplier with the knowledge to help you integrate the latest equipment.

Speak to the commercial drone experts

If you’re in the process of starting your commercial drone operations, speak to COPTRZ and our friendly team can point you in the right direction when it comes to training, hardware and software. Contact us or call 0330 111 7177.

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16th July 2018

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