Yuneec Announces Huge U.S. LayoffsIntel-funded drone manufacturer Yuneec International has recently confirmed that they will be laying off an undisclosed number of employees from their American offices. Despite the company remaining tight-lipped, rumours circulated by those in the know suggest that they could be letting 50-70% of their employees go. While seemingly a large cut in staffing, they are far from the first drone manufacturer to find themselves in this position with 3D Robotics, GoPro, Parrot, Ehang and Autel all announced redundancies in the past 12 months. A statement issued by Yuneec reads as follows: “We concluded that we upsized operations faster than our growth required. [The layoffs] are by no means a negative reflection of our industry or of Yuneec’s business success within the industry, merely we have decided to restructure our Americas division to become a more responsive and healthy business unit which will rely on improved team efficiencies. We will continue to grow our market share and add value to the electronic aviation industry.” This is an interesting turn of events, after all, Yuneec were recently touted as one of the main threats to DJI, however, their Typhoon H failed to make much of a dent in the Shenzhen tech giant’s market share and it looks like a strategic rethink may be on the cards, especially given a recent funding injection of $60m from Intel. Heliguy Insider will be following this story as it develops.
UK Police Force to Launch 24-Hour Drone UnitDevon and Cornwall Police are gearing up to offer Britain’s first round-the-clock drone unit to aid investigations, track missing people and take aerial imagery. The plans were brought to the media’s attention when a vacancy was spotted for a manager to head up the unit, which is set to be launched this summer. The advertisement calls the unit ‘operational and dynamic’ and states that it will be run from nine locations across three counties. This unit is being brought in during a tumultuous time in police funding with warnings that large cutbacks are leaving forces with a severe shortage of senior investigative staff.
Steve Barry, National Police Chiefs' Council spokesman on drones had this to say about the plans: "I would not be at all surprised if other forces follow in due course - the question is not whether they will, it's when. There may be an opportunity at some point in the future to rationalise what we need our cops to do because we find drones can do it more effectively and more cost-efficiently…an example of that would be looking for missing people. That opportunity has not yet manifested…there will be a point where that question gets asked."
He also added, backing away from the idea that drones could eventually replace police officers: "I think it's a brave senior officer who will make that step that is going to cut cops because they have got drones. If delivering the best service within the budget means using drones for something, a cop is now free to go to that burglary. It's about freeing resources." Devon and Cornwall Police started their drone trials in November 2015, amassing a fleet of four DJI Inspire 1 quadcopters. These airframes were first used in a live operation to search for a missing woman, alongside police dogs and local volunteers. It was reported last May that half of the UK's police forces are already using drones or planning to do so.
Drone services aren’t the exclusive domain of the police, however, as over 75% of UK fire services use sUAS, which have already been credited with numerous lives.
DJI Releases Report on Life Saving DronesDJI have recently released what they are calling ‘the first-ever survey of lifesaving drone activity’. Their investigation has found that UAVs rescued a minimum of 59 people from critical situations in 18 separate incidents around the world. Interestingly, more than a third of those that were saved by drones have civilian bystanders and volunteers who offered their services to emergency service teams to thank for the rescue. This is an important finding as it goes some way to proving that rising consumer drone ownership is a positive trend and offers a nice counterpoint to all the vague ‘near-miss’ press stories still being churned out. Due to the rising number of drones being used by emergency services and the public at large, DJI’s study has found that the rate of lifesaving actions by drones has almost reached one per week. Their findings have been gathered by digging into media reports from across the globe which means that there are likely many more cases that haven’t been included. Their report includes examples of rescues on land, water and flooded areas; with sUAS finding missing people, bringing them supplies and, in several cases, providing life jackets or rescue ropes at the critical moment. You can view the full report below: For those without the time to read the entire document it concludes with the following statement: "The clear conclusion is that drones are regularly saving lives around the world. This is occurring even though professional rescue crews are just beginning to adopt UAS technology, and in many cases are relying on bystanders or volunteers to provide lifesaving assistance, DJI is at the forefront in efforts to develop best practices and optimal standards for firefighters, rescue services and other first responders to integrate drones into their command protocols. As these efforts continue, we expect the number of lives saved by drones to continue to grow."
2017: The Year of Enterprise at HeliguyHeliguy has years of experience supporting a range of enterprise level clients and is looking to expand these services throughout 2017. We offer the latest commercial DJI products including the all-new Matrice 200 Series built for industrial applications and compatible with their Zenmuse XT and Z30 inspection cameras. We are also a licensed supplier of the DroneDeploy software. It’s not all about the products, though, with years of experience in training professional drone pilots and providing an exemplary level of after-sales support, we value the relationships we build with our clients. You can learn more about this on our Enterprise Page which will run you through the industries we can provide support for.
- NDVI: Find out about the customer NDVI solutions we have on offer using DJI's Phantom range of quadcopters.
- Mapping & Surveying: Learn the relative merits of Photogrammetry and LiDAR and how we can help you kickstart a successful drone mapping service.
- Thermography: With a number of enterprise level products available as well as a solid knowledge of thermographic principles, we're your go-to resource for aerial thermal solutions.
Platforms & Products
- DroneDeploy: We're a licensed supplier of DroneDeploy meaning that you can benefit from our unparalleled level of customer support as well as exceptional aerial mapping software.
- DJI Zenmuse XT: Created in a team-up between DJI and FLIR, there's a range of versions available allowing you to tailor this powerful thermography solution to your needs.
- DJI Matrice 200 Series: The pinnacle of DJI's enterprise drone range, the Matrice 200 series applies everything they've learned from customer feedback into the most powerful commercial quadcopter on the market.
- Custom Builds: Our in-house technical team are on-hand to offer repairs, support and custom-builds. Have an idea for a bespoke solution? Give us a call and we'll discuss viability.
Get in TouchIf you want to learn more about what we can offer your business in terms of advice, products or after-sales support you can contact our customer care team using the details below:
Call: 0191 296 1024
Keep checking back to Heliguy's Insider blog for insights into the marketplace, what we're up to and, of course, more of the latest news from the drone industry.