Drones and You!

For some time now, the Capital Goods Industries has used global position and equipment monitoring technologies. Last week I talk about the Cloud Based Technologies that were impacting our world. I want to look in a different direction this week.

On March 22nd the following press release got my attention:

China: – Commercial drone data company Skycatch, and DJI, the world’s leading manufacturer of civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, have extended their partnership to manufacture and deliver a fleet of 1,000 high-precision drones for Komatsu Smart Construction.

The Skycatch Explore1 drone autonomously flies over job sites to create highly accurate 3D site maps and models and will be deployed on Komatsu job sites. This map data will be used for Komatsu Smart Construction’s new data service that enables robotic earth moving equipment, used in the earthwork stage of the construction process, to correctly dig, bulldoze, and grade land autonomously according to digital construction plans.

“Conducting a site survey using a drone used to take hours. However, by implementing Explore1, users can carry out surveying quickly and easily. Now it is possible to perform drone surveying every day. Taking off, landing and flight route setting are all automated. Ground Control Points (GCPs) are no longer needed. 3D data is immediately generated and an entire construction site can be visually checked with the 3D map. The Explore1 is a true game changer for the construction site,” said Chikashi Shike, Executive Office of Smart Construction Division at Komatsu.

And some of you didn’t think we were being impacted a lot by technology. Imagine?

How do we keep up? That is an interesting question for many of us. In University I took a minor in Computer Science. We learned to program in Fortran and Cobol. We used punched cards. How old do you think that makes me feel?

The last time I purchased disc drives for a computer center was in the late 1970’s and for the price of $1,000,000 I bought eight-disc drives with removable 44 MB drives and two controllers. You read that right – a million bucks for about 350 MB or storage. The current pricing is about $1.00/GB.

In the early eighties I was running a software business in Denver. They had at their peak over 450 dealers using their software. Caterpillar was offering a product from DDPD – Dealer Data Processing, that took paper input from dealers had it keypunched and returned to the dealer after processing. They did the invoicing, inventory management, everything. With Paper.

Time have certainly changed.

That is one of the challenges that we have faced in our training business. I have personally had to change and adapt. I used to teach at University. I had a classroom, a blackboard with white chalk and a room of students. I talked (some called it teaching) and they listened. In England they called it learning from the pipe smoke of the teacher sitting in a room with the students.

I started Quest, Learning Centers, in the early 1990’s and taught in a hotel meeting room to a group of 25 or so students. It was for me going back to the classroom. But first we had overhead slides. We had “text” books of about 250 pages each that we created using voice recognition software. Voice recognition is everywhere today but it was a rarity in 1992. Overheads morphed into power point presentations.

However, training was a challenge for many dealerships. You see it cost money. Many dealers didn’t want to invest in their employees. The employee was expected to arrive with the necessary skills and they would be taught about the products. That is another “Imagine That” isn’t it?

In many cases that still remains true today. Companies are not investing in employee development as they should. It is quite disturbing actually.

To go full circle, we moved from the classroom to webinars. The classroom was thought to be too expensive and the webinar eliminated travel. The problem with a webinar is that the instructor has no idea what the student is learning. I was not happy about that learning device at all.

Then we explored Learning Management Software (LMS) starting in the early 2000’s,  or what they call the “aughts.” Well the products available weren’t ready for prime time. Today they are amazing at what they can do. Now we can do some amazing things. I know more about what the student is learning using current LMS software than I did in the classroom. It is terrific.

Then we took the slides from power point with audio tracks overlaid to them and had an online webinar. Then we used an extremely capable film company to come to Hawaii and spend a week filming us. We created over 500 film clips that we have embedded into the learning products we put out in Learning Without Scars.

Paul Baumann, the owner of Xfinigen, was excellent at flying drones which is why I was do interested in the Press Release from China talking about Komatsu. He used drone shots for many of our film clips. You can see them on our web site at www.learningwithoutscars.org and select either of the two blue bars to see some film clips. The one on the left shows some of Paul’s talents with drones.

Time have changed and they are still changing. The pace is accelerating. Adapt or Die.

The time is now.