Whenever people get together and start worrying about robots taking their jobs. Usually, they’re talking about minimum wage cashier gigs at fast food joints or package retrieval jobs at Amazon.
But oil rig roughnecks? Yep. They these stereotypically incredibly dangerous and relatively high paying gigs just got a seat at the table.
Think about that for a moment. Roughnecks can often be found literally swinging in the breeze in sometimes gale force winds checking wear and tear on platform girders. A tough gig, but something you desperately need to get right.
After all, if the platform goes, so do you — either by drowning or spectacular fireball, neither a desirable way to meet your end. Then there are the assessments on the platform’s giant chimneys, the “flare stacks,” famous for spitting flames even during shutdowns that can cost millions of dollars per day.
Now industry insiders have found something even better than a pair of human eyes. Using small drones equipped with thermal cameras can capture the information needed while also saving time and improving safety.
Let’s face it, a drone doing the flying while a man watches on a screen lessens the chances of that guy plummeting to his death right down to almost zero.
Damage to rigs is a constant problem because many rigs designed to last two decades are being pressed into service for twice as long. Right, and they’re also in frigid salt water in some of the most inhospitable places on earth.
This new opportunity is just one way in which drones are taking over the world, metaphorically speaking. Just a few years ago, humans with GoPros strapped to their heads were flinging endless hours of high flying video on file sharing sites such as YouTube.
Now people are doing much the same thing with camera-equipped drones. Oil rigs are just one of the commercial applications for drone tech. Realtors can use drones to create birds eye views of luxury properties.
Professional photographers can add drone footage to event videos, and security companies are employing drones to do what low-paid and somewhat skilled watchmen used to do.
Like any new technology, this is just the beginning.
What are some commercial applications you see for drones?