Company News

Announcing the winners of the 2023 DroneDeploy Awards

October 23, 2023

We're excited to announce the winners of our second annual DroneDeploy Awards, given out during our DDC After Dark party at the DroneDeploy Conference 2023 in the heart of Denver, Colorado. 

These awards celebrate reality capture champions and innovators who have done extraordinary things with drone, robotics and 360-degree capture technology using the DroneDeploy platform.

The awards were divided into six categories:

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

Operational Excellence: Barton Malow

Tyler Underwood, Business Transformation Engineer at Barton Malow

First up, the Operational Excellence category. This award represents grit, hard work and motivation. These organizations are successfully capturing their jobsites and driving efficiency by scaling their reality capture programs.

Barton Malow's journey in reality capture began around seven years ago with a small team of fewer than five members. Recognizing the construction industry’s need for reality capture tools, the company worked to make training, hardware and software more accessible. Today, Barton Malow boasts over 100 team members who are proficient in capturing project data.

The company has developed robust training programs offering both in-person and on-demand support, ranging from comprehensive guides on becoming a Part 107 Pilot to custom courses for 360 photo capturing. Recently, Barton Malow enhanced its drone training program with insights from the Risk Management and Safety Leadership teams, ensuring the training is fully aligned with the company’s commitment to safety and best practices.

Innovation of the Year: Woodside Energy

Trevor Mogg, representing Woodside Energy

These companies are pushing the boundaries of reality capture and setting the tone for where the industry is heading. They’re using hardware, software, algorithms and APIs to improve workflows in innovative ways – offering a glimpse of the future. 

Woodside Energy has taken a giant leap in inspection methods with the creation of Spector, a robotic service that enables remote inspections, now in operation at the Pluto LNG Plant. Spector specializes in regulatory visual inspections of electrical assets in hazardous environments. Spector's data is seamlessly integrated with FUSE, Woodside's digital twin, providing operators with a comprehensive and AI-enhanced view of assets.

Developed over 20 months in collaboration with Boston Dynamics, DroneDeploy and Reynolds & Moore, Spector blends cutting-edge robotics with Woodside’s operational expertise. DroneDeploy’s autonomous mission management software is crucial, directing the robot across the expansive plant, generating missions and capturing the right data – resulting in swift issue identification and updates to asset management records.

Guardian of Safety: The Weitz Company

Nicholas Johnson, Project Engineer at the Weitz Company

This award celebrates companies using reality capture to improve worker safety by streamlining operations, reducing manual tasks and eliminating hazards.

The Weitz Company has taken significant strides in enhancing its safety protocols through the innovative use of DroneDeploy and StructionSite data. By employing a combination of aerial and ground data, Weitz is able to meticulously monitor excavations, as well as openings in both building facades and floors. This adoption of reality capture data marks a proactive approach to safety, showcasing Weitz’s commitment to ensuring a secure working environment on all its projects.

Steward of Sustainability: Waste Management

Michael Boatwright, WM

The Steward of Sustainability recognizes companies that are using reality capture data to protect and sustain resources and build thriving communities.

Waste Management (WM) is turning trash into treasure with their commitment to sustainability. WM deploys drones equipped with thermal sensors to inspect landfills and curb methane emissions. In 2022, they were able to reduce methane emissions at landfills by 45%, by extending the life of landfills previously slated for retirement through consistent monthly updates, garnering attention from top executives. This innovative approach has also significantly reduced the need for extensive manual labor across large 400-1,000 acre sites, showcasing their dedication to a cleaner future.

Community and Workforce Development: Build Health International

This award honors companies that are using reality capture data to broaden their labor force and support their local communities.

For six years, Build Health International (BHI) has seamlessly incorporated DroneDeploy technology into its operations – significantly improving site assessments, design workflows and training across international teams. Omar Hernandez, Deputy Director, has successfully implemented DroneDeploy in Haiti, ensuring the local team is well-equipped and trained. Abijah Offré, a local technician, is actively using the technology, generating 3D models of critical sites like the HUM campus and aiding organizational communications with strategic photography.

BHI aims to extend this training to more international staff, acknowledging the technology’s substantial impact on design-and-build projects, from precise site surveys to optimizing solar installations. The platform’s potential to bolster communication and reporting for specialized teams further underscores BHI’s commitment to innovation, efficiency and sustainability.

DroneDeploy Champion: Google

Travis Butler, Program Manager at Google

This award recognizes an individual's remarkable contributions, unwavering commitment and leadership in harnessing the power of drones and reality capture technology. These champions have paved the way for transformative change within their industries, setting a high standard for excellence and innovation.

Travis Butler of Google exemplifies true leadership qualities. He has united various departments and enhanced collective knowledge and skill sets at his organization. He identified the Environment, Health, and Safety (EH&S) team’s need for a deeper understanding of reality capture data, and proactively shared his expertise to elevate safety and efficiency in projects.

Recognizing gaps in the team's familiarity with reality capture technology, he took immediate action, providing essential training and ensuring everyone was equipped with the latest tools and knowledge. Travis’s straightforward yet impactful approach underscores the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing in driving efficiency within a company.

Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone who submitted. We look forward to seeing you next year for DDC 2024!

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