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Utilising Drones to Achieve Zero Harm in Programmed’s Workforce 

18 July 2022

One of Programmed’s goals is to deliver innovative solutions that provide successful outcomes for our clients. We see this goal operating in conjunction with our value of personal safety and achieving zero harm in our workforce. 

With safety at the forefront of everything that we do at Programmed, we continually look for innovative products and solutions to achieve zero harm in our workforce and to ensure that our staff and communities are safe.  

Since the early 1900s, we have seen unmanned aerial vehicles also known as drones become more advanced, compact, smart and popular, and with the help of AI technology, drones have become a critical tool used in many industries around the world, including our own. Although an unmanned aerial vehicle flying at incredible heights and speeds may not sound so safe, Programmed did their due diligence and found unlike other forms of aviation, the accidental fatality rate for drones is zero, and if used in the right way, can reduce workplace incidents and help to achieve our safety goals, all while providing successful outcomes for our clients.  

Our work at Programmed involves height work, asset inspections, surveys, and technical assessments on external and internal details of high-level buildings, towers, and roofs. These assets can often be hard to assess or inspect from the ground or even at level, and when assessing them, the chance of work hazards occurring can be likely. This prompted our Facility Management team to find a like-minded company that supplied the best drones to help us reach these areas safely. 

Programmed discovered Skydio, the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight. Skydio is a great fit for Programmed as they not only prioritise safety, but they are an innovative company that uses AI capabilities and autonomous flight applications in the way that we wish to use them. 

Since working with Skydio, our team has found that using a drone mitigates work hazards while ensuring the job gets done with the precision of the drone cameras and supporting AI software.

Programmed Facility Management’s General Manager, Henry Arundel says “we recognized how advancing our abilities with drones would not only benefit the customer but our workforce too. Besides the safety aspects of not having to send staff up to potentially high and dangerous areas, we can now train up staff that have the in-field experience, but might find themselves unable to attend site visits anymore. Their wealth of knowledge is not lost and they have a second-life to their careers.”

The Skydio drones have many safety features built into them that help our pilots to fly them safely. Skydio drones use six 4K cameras to build a 3D map of their surroundings, deep learning algorithms to understand what they’re seeing, and advanced AI to predict into the future and make intelligent decisions. Features like 360 degree situational awareness and close proximity obstacle avoidance allow the operator to conduct detailed inspections safely. Skydio drones can fly in GPS denied areas which allows inspections to be carried out safely in areas conventional drones would be unable to fly.  

Skydio’s ANZ (Australian and New Zealand) Country Manager says, “I am proud to be working with such a progressive and innovative company such as programmed. There is a clear demand for smarter drones that are easier and safer to use and deliver real automation and scalability for enterprise. Skydio’s autonomous drones and advanced integrated software respond to this need by unlocking the massive untapped potential of drones.” 

This modern equipment provides a safer and more cost-effective method for Programmed and its customers. It provides scalability and also consistent reproduceable results, all while keeping our people safe. Programmed looks forward to continuing its great relationship with Skydio. 

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