Ask a dozen logistics professionals about potential uses for airborne drones in our industry and you'll get a dozen answers: port security, parcel delivery, yard monitoring, the Internet of Things. You name it, and somebody is working on a plan to use these airborne platforms to save time and money in the supply chain.
Now, an anonymous Belgian flying enthusiast who goes by the handle "Theradrone" is taking a different approach, using his four-rotor copter to film sweeping video portraits of the massive containerships and tankers that frequent the Port of Antwerp.
The 10-minute-long films typically begin with a view of the sand and surf at the operator's feet. Then the copter takes off over the waves, winging its way a mile or two out to sea to intersect with a distant freighter. When it arrives, the three-pound electronic insect hovers above the immense vessel, recording its unique view of the massive bow wave, thundering wake, and the sheer bulk of the ship as it steams toward its next port of call.
Maritime aficionados can check the stats on each ship's velocity, its distance from shore, and the nearby wind speed, as well as the height and bearings of the drone above. To view the movies, check out the series of films on Facebook or subscribe to Theradrone's channel on YouTube.
Here's a short video of two ships, the Federal Hudson and the MSC Damla, crossing paths: