IBM employee demos hack for gathering live video data via drone

Andy Trice, an IBM developer has been using the company’s computing platform and off-the-shelf drone hardware from DJI to work on a demo in his spare time. He dropped by the TechCrunch New York offices to demo his hack.

The system known as Skylink, which began as a pet project for Trice, is able to collect and transfer data in real-time, providing valuable contextual information such as exact location (latitude, longitude, altitude), the pitch of the camera, and compass heading.

“Think of an insurance adjuster,” says Trice. “You want to use the aircraft to get aerial imagery that otherwise could have been a lot harder to obtain. If they’ve have an accident or a flood, it can be documented in the air. Previously they would have to go to an aerial photographer. It could be months before they got the footage back and it could cost a fair amount.”

The system also makes use of OpenWhisk to access Watson’s Visual Recognition, recognizing components from the photo in real-time, a tool that could prove handy for surveillance drones that are given the job of recording huge amount of video over long stretches, along with such reasonably forthright contextual data mentioned above.

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