Fixed-Wing Ebee Plus Surveying Drone Coming to CAT Dealers

Drones are the next big thing on construction sites. The data they provide, makes the work of construction site managers, operators and surveyors extremely easy to manage. Conventionally, drones are rotor based, but the drone technology firm Airware is now bringing a fixed wing drone named e-Bee Plus to the market through Caterpillar dealers.

e-Bee Plus is designed and manufactured by senseFly and it offers an impressive 59 minute flight time which provides it with the capability to map 220 hectares of land in a single flight. It also has a built-in RTK/PPL (Real-Time Kinematic/Post-Processed Kinematic) which provides it with increased functionality when it comes to surveying sites in real time. The RTK feature allows data to be processed in-flight using reference and roving receivers which makes it easier to obtain a position solution without having to go through a post-processing of the data after the flight.

Airware’s partnership with senseFly, through a global distribution agreement, will help it to upgrade its pioneering end to end drone technology offerings base which currently includes cloud-based data processing, training, support and analytics. Airware’s primary niche is to transform aerial data into actionable business intelligence for construction and mining sites across the world.

“By combining senseFly’s globally-proven, large-coverage eBee Plus platform with Airware’s unique cloud-based business intelligence, we are creating a truly enterprise-ready solution; a solution that enables customers to safely collect, and act upon, the geospatial data they need, for example when planning operations, calculating extraction volumes, and monitoring a site’s evolution over time,” said Jean-Christophe Zufferey, senseFly’s CEO.

The eBee Plus will be made available by Airware through Cat Dealers, as part of the wider Cat Connect Offering initiative. Caterpillar, the equipment manufacturing giant, has shown interest in a wide variety of tech-led construction solutions firms for the past couple of years as part of its strategy to not be left behind in a world that is changing fast. Caterpillar bought a stake in Airware during February this year and mentioned, that through this collaboration, Cat wanted to make sure that its customers are able to get their hands on the latest in drone technology solutions through its dealers.

As for Airware, this access to the global Cat dealers network will certainly provide it with a huge edge over its competitors because it will now be able to expand its outreach beyond the country and enter a global market, which is an unprecedented opportunity for a startup like Airware.

Airware is extremely optimistic about being able to partner, for the eBee Plus, with senseFly. The combination of sensFly’s expansive coverage technology with Airware’s optimized intelligent business solutions will ultimately enable construction, mining, quarrying and insurance firms to harness the effectiveness of using drone technology to gain actionable data from aerial surveys.

“To take full advantage of aerial data, surveyors demand that their tools provide survey-grade accuracy, efficiency, and flexibility. The eBee Plus more than meets these requirements,” said Jonathan Downey, the founder and CEO of Airware. “Pairing the eBee Plus’ aerial efficiency and photogrammetric accuracy with our powerful enterprise-grade workflow enables companies to ensure compliance, enhance worker safety, and capture more accurate, repeatable data to improve decision-making.”

This tri-consortium of Airware, senseFly, and Caterpillar is definitely the most influential technology supply chain network to come together in the drone tech industry up till now and will definitely help firms access much better business solutions through a highly efficient and integrated product availability model.

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