Cat Invests in Drone Data Analysis Provider

Caterpillar’s recent investment in Airware will allow its dealers to offer aerial-data collection and analysis
products and services directly to mining customers.
Caterpillar Ventures, the Peoria, Illinois- based equipment company’s venture capital investment group, reported that it has made a strategic investment in Airware, a developer of aerial-data business solutions. The investment, according to Caterpillar, will allow it to accelerate programs that enable its dealers to offer aerial-data collection and analysis products and services to its mining customers.

California, USA-based Airware acquired Redbird, a UAV analytics company, in September 2016 to enable it to bring to market a commercial drone solution. Today, according to Airware, customers worldwide are using the solution to monitor day-to-day progress of their sites to improve productivity, worker safety and operational efficiency.

At the time of the Redbird acquisition, Airware released a press statement indicating that with Airware and Redbird’s combined solution, its mining customers would benefit from 100 times more data, and potentially five times faster turnaround on data analytics. Customers could plan drone flights, capture high-quality aerial data, analyze it, and create detailed, survey-grade site maps of up to 1,000 acres per day, per drone, for production tracking and other tasks.

“Commercial drone technology is becoming a necessity for construction, mining and quarrying organizations looking to increase overall productivity while cutting costs,” said Jonathan Downey, founder and CEO of Airware. “Airware provides customers the combined power of an enterprise-focused workflow and industry-specific data analytics with the compliance and security features needed to scale drone operations.”

Caterpillar dealers will be able to offer their customers drone services and analytics, including a core set of photogrammetry, mapping and volumetrics tools, and a suite of advanced analysis and reporting modules.

“This investment is a continuation of Caterpillar’s commitment to help our customers be more productive and make improved business decisions,” said George Taylor, Caterpillar chief marketing officer and vice president of the marketing and digital division. “In collaboration with Airware, we are better positioned to offer drone services through industry- leading technology that helps digitize and optimize operations.”

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 03 -