Announcing the Winners of the 2022 DroneDeploy Awards

October 12, 2022

This year we launched our first-ever DroneDeploy Awards. Hosted on the first day of DroneDeploy Conference in the heart of Dallas, Texas, the awards celebrated the reality capture champions and innovators from our ecosystem of industries who have done extraordinary things with drone, robotics and 360-degree capture technology using the DroneDeploy platform.

To ensure no efforts went unnoticed, we divided up the awards into six categories:

  • Innovation of the Year
  • Operational Excellence
  • Guardian of Safety
  • Community Workforce and Development
  • Steward of Sustainability
  • DroneDeploy Champion

In case you weren’t able to attend the awards ceremony in-person at DDC, we’ve compiled a list of this year’s winners, as well as a brief overview of how they are leading the charge in reality capture for their respective industries.

Turner Construction Company DroneDeploy Innovation award winner 2022

Innovation of the Year Award: Turner Construction Company

First up, is the Innovation of the Year Award. This award recognizes companies that push the boundaries of reality capture technology and set the tone for where the industry is heading – over the past year, Turner Construction Company has exemplified that.

At Turner, innovation is about encouraging the progress of their people by unlocking their potential to do purposeful and fulfilling work. They’ve made this mission a reality by employing a full-time innovations department that is dedicated to driving positive and impactful change.

Turner works to stay one step ahead of the fast-paced developments happening both inside and outside the AEC industry; they do this by using a wide range of tools from artificial intelligence to mixed reality and ground robotics. As a result of their efforts, Turner was selected as our Innovator of the Year.

Learn more about how Turner uses ground robots to cut inspection times by over 95%

Read the full story!

Operational Excellence Award

Operational Excellence Award: Austin Commercial

The Operational Excellence Award highlights teams that have established and evolved their reality capture program through an effective growth strategy. Companies in this category have upgraded their organization to successfully leverage drones, cameras and ground robotics to fully capture the reality of their sites, buildings, fields, assets or infrastructure.

This year, we selected Austin Commercial as the winner of our Operational Excellence Award. Austin Commercial began their reality capture journey in 2016 and since then have averaged close to 6,000 drone flights every year. In order to ramp up their reality capture program, the team at Austin Commercial set up internal training and developed DroneDeploy power users to evangelize the use of the software at the project level.

Austin Commercial is a champion of operational excellence and continues to promote growth in the platform.

Guardian of Safety Award Winner: Sunrun

Guardian of Safety: Sunrun

The Guardian of Safety Award recognizes companies that are using the insights from their reality capture programs to reimagine the traditional ways of work and improve worker safety.

Over the past three years, residential solar giant Sunrun has made a direct and measurable impact on workplace safety by improving operations, reducing the need to perform manual tasks and removing unnecessary hazards.

Sunrun has reaped major benefits to their bottom line as a result of their efforts towards safety. Sunrun now conducts over 75% of their surveys from the safety of the ground using DroneDeploy. And thanks to a rapid scaling of their reality capture program, Sunrun has been able to keep ten site technicians off of roofs every minute of the workday.

Community Workforce and Development: Disaster Relief Australia

The Community Workforce and Development Award champions companies that are using their reality capture programs to broaden their labor force and improve their communities. Disaster Relief Australia serves as a perfect example of what it means to have a community-focused reality capture program.

DRA is a non-profit, volunteer disaster relief organization that unites military veterans and first-responders deployed in Australia and around the globe. DRA has used their reality capture program to bolster first-response efforts and assist on the ground teams.

For instance, when fires swept through Australia in the summers of 2019-2020, DRA’s Aerial Damage Assessment Team provided impact and needs assessments, based around effective use of aerial imagery captured using DroneDeploy. Teams on the ground then used this data to support and guide relief and recovery operations.

Steward of Sustainability: Aeria Analytics

The Steward of Sustainability Award honors companies that are using their reality capture data from DoneDeploy to further sustainability efforts. Over the past year, Aeria Analytics has used drone mapping and AI in DroneDeploy to support its mission of improving biodiversity and climate resilience.

The Aeria Analytics team has flown and analyzed thousands of acres to create drone maps and models that help businesses and organizations make informed decisions about their land to increase biodiversity, carbon sequestration and overall sustainability.


DroneDeploy Champion: Rhys Andersen from SCBS, LLC.

Our DroneDeploy Champion Award is given to the true trailblazers of the reality capture industry. These are individual innovators who are pushing the boundaries by introducing cutting-edge workflows into their organization’s aerial or ground mapping and operations programs. DroneDeploy Champions have all found ways to drive efficiency in their reality capture programs while making their day-to-day operations safer and more effective.

At DDC this year, we selected Rhys Anderson from SCBS, LLC. as our first DroneDeploy Champion. Rhys is the visionary who is driving SCBS forward in its drone capabilities and services. Rhys has

championed reality capture at SCBS and has been leveraging DroneDeploy for two years. As a direct result of using reality capture data and the resulting quality of the models, Rhys has been able to promote the pre-emptive inspection and documentation of commercial properties as a new standard of care.

Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone who submitted. We look forward to seeing you next year for DDC 2023!

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