Rural Norfolk and Suffolk has long been known for its agricultural roots, but it is not everyday you see the finer points of farming overseen by a state-of-the-art flying drone.
It is just one of the markets in the sights of up-and-coming technology company Skyview Robotics, a business based at Cherry Tree Farm in The Common, Metfield, that specialises in aeronautics, optical imagery and software engineering.
Founded in 2012 as an affiliation with animal bedding maker Bed-Down, which shares the same headquarters, Skyview utilises aerial drones with advanced electromagnetic spectral sensors to detect anomalies outside the visible spectrum, with applications in construction, industry, ecology, forestry and mining, among numerous other fields.
Managing director James Foster-Clarke told the Diss Express: “It’s opening a bit of a pandora’s box for a lot of us.
“It’s a very interesting field. Originally, it began as I saw a gap in the market and then it started fuelling a real interest in what information we can obtain.
“It gives a tremendous amount of data. The applications are really quite large.”
Skyview states the capabilities of its drones enable it to, for example, identify cracks in bridges and pipe work, spot degradation faults in solar panel cells and detect the earliest signs of disease and weed infestation in crops.
Despite the apparent disparity between Skyview and its sister company, Mr Foster-Clarke explained the underlying aspects of engineering in both bedding manufacture and drone technology means the businesses are actually more closely connected than at first glance.
He said: “A lot of our skill sets are in engineering. In a lot of ways, the processes are really quite similar, if you have an understanding of engineering.
“We are very keen to develop and see how and where the best opportunities come from,” he added.
The firm has now begun to acquire clients such as large-scale farm owners and members of the oil industry.
Article and picture supplied courtesy of the Diss Express