i3 - March/April 2018 - 7

By Cindy Loffler Stevens

Women In Tech
Q How are drones

Mitcham was a panelist on the public policy
session, "Taking Stock: A New Year for Drone
Innovation" at CES 2018.

we had on and offsite. Quantity
surveyors used it to verify their
progress reports. The photos
even helped settle a couple of
disputes over materials used
in earlier phases of the project.
From above, you can see the
whole project in its entirety at
once. After this, I started experimenting with mapping and
using the drones to verify cut
and fill quantities and volumes
of dirt brought onto the site.
That's when I realized that this
tool, the drone, could help other
companies run their projects
more efficiently. And not only
construction, but industries like
telecom and insurance as well.

Q What is your business model?
A SkyNinja provides services

I N N OVATO R

Taylor Mitcham
-Chief Drone Ninja of SkyNinja

Drone Innovation

C

hief Drone Ninja Taylor Mitcham, is a mining and
mineral engineer who founded SkyNinja to help the
construction, renewable energy and utility industries
map, monitor and inspect projects using drones.
Before starting SkyNinja, she was a project engineer for a major
EPFC construction firm building critical infrastructure for
industries including power/utility, oil and gas, and mining.

Q Why did you start Sky Ninja?
A I started SkyNinja because I saw a need in the construction

industry. Prior to SkyNinja, I started a drone program at the industrial construction company I was working for as a project engineer.
Using drones, we would take aerial photographs to show our clients
and people who were not onsite, the progress we were making on
a project. The supply chain used the photos to see what equipment
C TA . t e c h / i 3

directly to our clients. We also do
consulting for companies who
want to integrate drones into
their operations directly. For our
construction clients, we often
set up recurring revenue contracts in order to help them for
the length of their projects. All
other work is on a case-by-case
basis depending on the scope.

Q What are your biggest challenges as a startup?

A First off is keeping up with

how fast the market is changing. The drone industry is one
of the fastest moving industries
and if you blink too long you'll
get left behind. My next biggest
challenge is choosing the right
people to work with whether
it's an employee, contractor or
other companies. Speed is an
important factor in this industry,
but you need to have the right
people on your side. Our last
challenge is cybersecurity. Some
of the data we collect for our
clients is sensitive and it's important that it does not end up in the
wrong hands.

changing the construction
and utilities industries?
A In the construction industry,
drones are changing the way
companies monitor their
projects. Not only can the
technology capture a photo from
a low altitude from the sky, but
they can also create 2D and 3D
maps of a site. These maps can
also provide measurements
(volume and linear) that can aid in
the verification of materials and
placements. The best part is that
the process to obtain this data is
much faster and has greater
detail than traditional methods,
such as hiring a plane to take
pictures. In the utility industry,
drones are used to inspect assets
such as power lines. This not only
increases the speed at which
these items can be inspected but
also increases safety significantly.
Before drones, someone had to
climb to the top of the pole to see
what was happening. Now a
drone can fly to the top and see
close enough to read the serial
numbers of parts in minutes. This
is especially critical during
disaster response when time is of
the essence.

Q You are an engineer.
How can we get girls
interested in STEM?
A We need to show them
how STEM impacts their life and
what they do day-to-day. It's
great when girls are interested
in cars or planes like I was as a
kid, but not all girls are. They
might get more interested in
STEM if they knew that chemical
engineers are the ones who create makeup and hair products.
It's about getting to their level
of interest and showing them
how STEM impacts it whether it's
building an app or creating the
best concealer.
Q Who inspires you?
A Definitely Jessica Cox. She's

done more in her life with no
arms, than I have with. She motivates me to step-up my game and
do something.
MARCH/APRIL 2018

7


https://skyninja.co/ http://www.CTA.tech

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - March/April 2018

Contents
i3 - March/April 2018 - Cover1
i3 - March/April 2018 - Cover2
i3 - March/April 2018 - Contents
i3 - March/April 2018 - 2
i3 - March/April 2018 - 3
i3 - March/April 2018 - 4
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i3 - March/April 2018 - 7
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i3 - March/April 2018 - Cover3
i3 - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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