Drone technology has proven to be highly efficient and useful in events of crisis and project deployment. Drones sent to an area for surveillance and reconnaissance; provide an early assessment of the situation. This helps first responders and engineers assess situations before going in themselves, and help them come up with possible solutions to solve crises. However, this approach mostly requires both drone pilots and disaster experts to be onsite, which can prove to be both dangerous and taxing. This marks the need for a solution that can enable remote operation of a drone cost-effectively. Cape Aerial Telepresence (CAT) by Cape provides such a solution.

Cape was founded in 2014 with a simple objective: to build software that unleashes the true potential of commercial drones. It achieved its dream through Cape Aerial Telepresence (CAT). CAT is an online cloud-based platform that allows remote control of a drone from anywhere in the world. Its user-friendliness enables users with almost zero drone-operating training to log into the platform via their devices. The users can then connect to the drones and fly them safely around the world with low latency controls and high-resolution video. All activities are done without requiring or touching any additional hardware, including the drone. Thus, the platform assures both the safety of the user and the cost-effectiveness of the operation.

An organization can utilize CAT by first sending a field-operative onsite with a drone and iPad. Using Cape Pilot App, the operative creates a geofence and turns the drone on. A remote operator then connects to the drone and initiates its flight, controlling it with a simple and intuitive interface. Geofences prevent the drone from hazards, making it impossible for operators to crash the drone. Each Cape customer is provided with their own portal to Cape cloud management system which provides tools to manage their drones, analyze flight data and live-stream videos of drone flight.

Cape Aerial Telepresence allows users in the field to quickly deploy drones and live-stream HD quality videos to experts at remote locations at crucial moments

CAT allows users in the field to quickly deploy drones and live-stream HD quality videos to experts at remote locations at crucial moments. First responders benefit the most as they get an understanding of the situation before approaching it. This approach ensures quick decisions, maximum safety, and efficient results. Public safety organizations are measured on performance indicators like their response time. They often lack resources to meet the needed goals. Use of CAT allowed the implementation of Drones as First Responders (DFR) program, which has been observed to reduce response time by 200 percent. Drones arrive on the scene before responding officers. This allows command centers to assess the situation better and dispatch the required resources on the scene.

To test CAT’s effectiveness and benefits of its implementation, Cape and Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) together launched the DFR program in October 2018. Drones equipped with CAT were integrated with daily emergency response. Earlier, drones were used for one-off situations where, after reaching a location, a single pilot would navigate the drone and relay information via phone or radio to response teams. Now, CVPD officials have gained higher situational awareness and can make quick decisions using the drone’s real-time aerial visibility. In four months, CAT equipped drones have contributed to 18 arrests. Thus, the experiment was declared a success.

As of August 2019, Cape has entered a partnership with Impossible Aerospace (IA). IA’s Impossible US-1 drones deliver 78 minute flight time carrying both infra-red and 4K cameras. Hopefully, integrating with Cape’s CAT software, the drones will provide unmatched security, thereby providing the most cutting-edge secure drone solution.