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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Firm with Top Gear drone targets major employers

AN Ulverston firm is employing technology used in the latest Top Gear TV special in a new venture.

Twist Technology is the brainchild of Tim Redshaw, who runs Furness Engineering and Technology Ltd in Ulverston.

His new venture uses a Hexacopter, a remote control drone powered by six propellers, to shoot footage of hard-to-reach areas.

Among their targeted clients are BAE Systems and Sellafield Ltd; where the use of the drone could help them reduce costs and increase safety for inspection tasks which would traditionally be accessed with cherry pickers and scaffolding.

Already bosses at a leading roofing firm, behind the Trafford Centre and aspects of the Shard in London, has shown interest in the technology. The Hexacopter can shoot both still images and video and the firm has been able to shoot some stunning scenery including the Hoad and over Plumpton.

Mr Redshaw, managing director of Twist Technology, said when he realised the potential for the business Twist Technology was born.

He said: “Once we saw the capabilities we immediately got one. The type of work we can do varies from client to client; whilst we’d like to go filming in Rwanda with the cast and crew of Top Gear, we’re targeting things like aerial land surveys, pipe bridge inspections and monitoring buildings to identify the need for repairs.

“Both Sellafield and BAE Systems have a requirement to monitor the build-up of seagull guano (because of its corrosive nature).

“Previously they’d do this with scaffolding or cherry pickers which can be hazardous and quite expensive – we can do it at a fraction of the cost without the traditional risks. In the Top Gear special in Africa they used two of the same Hexacopters we have for all the aerial shots.’’

The Hexacopter is even registered with the Civil Aviation Authority and Twist Technology have pilots who have undertaken an accredited course to allow them to pilot the drone.

Monitored using state-of-the-art video goggles or a separate screen the drone uses a GPS system and has the capability to operate in a line of sight up to 15km at a height of up to 3km.

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