How-tos

Interested in drones and visual recognition tech? 6 Resources to get you up to speed

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The Aero Expo, the Global Show for General Aviation, is running in my hometown Friedrichshafen from today until the weekend. One of the expo and conference topics is drones of the future (AERODrones UAS Expo). Drones or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have been and are a hot topic for IBM and its customers. Let me give a brief overview of some interesting work where drones, artificial intelligence, analytics, database systems, Internet of Things (IoT) and the IBM Cloud come together.

Learn more about drones and visual recognition technology

Drones play an increasingly important role for inspecting hard-to-reach areas, in providing important overview footage in emergencies and other critical situations (Public Safety), and many more. Visual recognition and other (IBM Watson) cognitive technologies help to automatically enhance and augment the taken images. Here are some technology-oriented resources for you, bringing together drones, cognitive technologies and the cloud:

  1. Bringing Drones to the Enterprise with Bluemix and OpenWhisk” provides a good introduction into the role of drones for enterprises, particular the insurance industry. The article has a longer resource section with good examples. The blog itself introduce a sample application “skylink” with a live website for testing and the skylink code available on GitHub.
  2. When working with visual recognition to automatically detect objects in images taken from drones, it is important to train the recognition engine. “Best practices for custom classifiers in Watson Visual Recognition” provides guidance on how to get started.
  3. On the same topic is “Watson Visual Recognition, drones and custom classifiers“.
  4. If you prefer hearing and seeing to reading then I recommend the webinar “Drones Take-off with IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk“.
  5. The blog “How to sharpen Watson Visual Recognition results with simple preprocessing” shows how images taken from drones can be preprocessed to improve visual recognition results. Using the demonstrated tactics it is easily possible to detect cracks in pipelines, notice hail damage or pinpoint rust or corrision in infrastructure based on imagery taken from drones.
  6. Last, but not least, “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Watson IoT!” introduce a commercial case, bringing together drones, IBM Watson cognitive capabilities, the IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) platform and the IBM Cloud with Bluemix.

Closing for today, here is a video of one of the mentioned systems, “skylink”, in action. And if you want to watch all the airplanes arriving for Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, I recommend to head over to the “slashCam” of doubleslash.

Technical Offering Manager / Developer Advocate

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