Crashing into objects is an expensive way to learn how to fly drones. Many would-be drone pilots find that flying is simply too stressful and costly to learn, and decide not to pursue this passion. Practicing flight using drone simulators is a proven way to offset these expenses, lower risks and gain confidence in drone pilot skills. Rather than investing several hundred dollars into drone hardware repairs, a simulator can give prospective pilots the feel of the real McCoy while helping them decide if this is truly a job for them. On the other end of the spectrum, there are businesses where professional drone use is critical to operations and safety. Oil rig inspections, electrical grid and bridge inspections are some cases that come to mind. With specialized drones required to successfully complete these tasks costing tens of thousands of dollars, drone simulators have the potential to cut costs and improve efficiency.
Simulators work for serious players
Professional drone use can significantly benefit from simulator training. Training for enterprise class drone applications such as oil rig and refinery inspection, inspections of bridges and electrical grids, etc. can all be practiced via simulation. The simulator trains the pilot in working over various terrains, in severe and inclement weather and over land and sea without exposing a state-of-the-art drone to flight hazards. The AEgis Vampire Pro simulator is an excellent example of a professional drone training simulator that can cut training costs, improve emergency handling and flight safety while reducing the time it takes for pilots to become proficient with drone flight maneuvers.
It does not take 10,000 hours!
In his book, “Outliers”, Malcolm Gladwell argues that ten years or 10,000 hours is the amount of practice time most people will need to become great at something. Don’t let that scare you off! Even Malcolm says he mentions this to stress the need for practice. To become a proficient drone pilot (or proficient anything) you probably only need to put in just 20 hours (40 minutes a day for a month) as stressed by Josh Kaufman. If you then find these new skills get you excited, go ahead and put in more effort until you reach the level of mastery you desire. Practice will only make you better, and simulated practice is much more cost effective when you factor in the potentially costs associated repairs to your drone, to say nothing of the potential liability associated with risk to property and personal injury that could be caused by operating your drone.
Run! Microsoft is getting into Drones!
Microsoft has recently released an open source drone simulator. If you put in some development effort, you can make this code simulate almost any drone. However, Microsoft being what it is, their simulator is rather grandly called the Aerial Informatics and Robotics platform. Jokes aside, if you are a programmer and are up to the challenge, this could be worth exploring. It could be invaluable if you are developing drones and their control logic. However, if you are uncertain of being able to program a simulator to closely mimic the flight and payload characteristics of your specific drone, consider speaking to us about the Vampire Pro drone simulator. If drone use is critical to your business or operations, it’s probably not wise to take short cuts on pilot training.
David King Chief Technical Officer
Serving as the Chief Technology Officer, David is responsible for the discovery and implementation of new technologies that yield competitive advantages while working closely with Executive Management to develop strategies to increase revenue and performs cost-benefit and return-on-investment analysis.
In October 2005, David joined AEgis Technologies as Director of the Simulation Development Group. During that time, David helped formulate the direction of AEgis’ software development efforts to ensure maximum reusability, thereby speeding ongoing development while reducing costs. His focus is technology transfer to commercial products and product development. Under his leadership, the Simulation Development Group developed and fielded over 8000 UAS training systems across the DOD. David has held the title of Vice President, Simulation Development and most recently, Executive Vice President, Technology Solutions Division.
With more than 25 years in the Modeling, Simulation, and Training industry – and having served in product design and development, technology advancement, project management, and leadership positions. David is a recognized leader and innovator in the MS&T industry, having co-founded, matured and sold a two-man start-up company into a highly-successful small business (CG2, Inc.) in just seven years with no outside venture capital or investments. In addition to being recognized locally as an “Outstanding Small Business” for three consecutive years by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
Before co-founding CG2, David spent eight years in the US Army in missile-related fields. He worked for Electronic Associates Inc. and later AMTEC Corporation at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL, on a broad range of projects including the Sensor Vision III Real-Time IR Scene Generator, JAVELIN, STINGER, CHAPARRAL BAT, AIT, and THAAD HWIL simulations.
Specialties: Modeling, Simulation and Training. Hardware in the Loop, real-time simulations.