Also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), drones in construction are being utilised in various applications on building sites to provide greater efficiency, save money and reduce overall project build times. The unobtrusive qualities allowing them to conduct various tasks on construction projects has taken drones from being “a bit of fun with friends” to a powerful device that is redefining the industry.

Drones in Construction

Such is the familiarity of drones as leisure devices, it’s no longer much of a shock to see a drone operating in the sky on construction sites.

The tolerance and acceptance of drones in construction has provided a stepping stone for widespread adoption of artificial intelligence in construction

But what is it about drones in construction that makes them so beneficial? 

I take a look at 10 amazing things drones in construction can do better than humans

1. Building Surveillance Provided by Drones in Construction

High scaffolding, cherry picker rental costs and safety issues are a thing of the past thanks to drones in construction.

Utilising a drone fitted with a high performance camera enables hard to reach areas to be surveyed with minimal effort.

Drones deployed in this instance not only save money and prevent injury but they are also a significant time saver, allowing projects to move onto the next phase with minimal fuss.

The recent adoption of drones in Dubai serves as a perfect example of the benefits that are available, including engineers not having to move from offices to construction sites and instead utilise site contractors to provide “examination, viewing and inspection” footage as and when required.

2. 3D Building Mapping 

Traditionally a job that is completed at a desk drone deploy is advanced mapping software that takes footage captured from a drone and creates 3D models of structures and surrounding landscapes.

High resolution photos of the structures are captured from multiple angles and are fed into the software to be rendered into highly detailed accurate re-creations.

3. Security Delivered by Drones in Construction

With foundations in military, security is one of the earliest tasks that have are been provided by drones in construction.

Able to navigate large areas at speed, they are perfect for identifying security breaches on a construction site.

Despite not providing the permanent security available from Close Circuit Television (CCTV), they are more than capable of covering a wide area of a construction project with minimum hassle.

Should a security breach occur, a drone could deployed to identify the culprit using footage captured, limiting the risk to staff and increase the opportunity to successful apprehend the individual/s.

In addition, footage captured by drones in construction could be used to identify potential security breach points on a site so they can be rectified before they are exploited.

4. Construction Site Quality Inspections

Assessment of quality standards on construction sites is more accurate thanks to drones and the associated software.

Able to reach roofs, various awkward angles, capture more accurate footage of a project and side step issues associated with human error, drones provide a substantial layer of reassurance.

A drone with a thermal imaging camera would provide an excellent resource for identifying thermal hot and cold spots, and rectifying any issues before a construction is completed.

Doxel software utilises drones and ground based vehicles to tracks progress and inspect quality, in the video below the sophisticated technology is able recognise each aspect of a construction and return detailed analysis.

5. Marketing Materials Delivered by Drones in Construction

On site staff are not always the most reliable at capturing high quality photo and video for marketing purposes.

Armed with high performance cameras, incredible stability and a licence to take hundreds of photos and multiple minutes of footage of construction sites, drones in construction are capable of delivering a wealth of marketing materials that can be used to make a business look incredible.

Construction marketers can use drone footage to create a truly cinematic and compelling experience for their audiences.

It’s a great way to to welcome your audience on your website, has incredible sharing potential on social media and is a piece of construction marketing content that can continue to rewarding for many years to come.

Ideal for showcasing projects, the factory line, premises or the onsite team it can really help to enhance the professional perception and personality for your business.

Here’s is evidence of an in-progress construction site that looks even better than being there thanks to drone footage:

6. Health and Safety

Footage taken from drones in construction not only provide live on site footage of a construction site during health and safety inductions but can also be deployed to prevent healthy and safety issues before they happen.

A detailed drone observation of a project can be implemented efficiently and quickly various times in the day to address potential health and safety breaches.

Live drone footage may also be invaluable in identifying the cause of incidents as they occur and allow the necessary emergency services to be informed before a situation escalates.

Where individuals are isolated a drone could be the first to report an incident that has occurred, or provide valuable footage that humans can analyse to reach a faster solution.

7. Virtual Reality Live Feed Construction Project Tours

Virtual tours that adopt a drone and Virtual Reality (VR) headset technology means a live tour of a project site can be provided almost any where.

Drone operated virtual reality tours would be suitable for more common issues such as a construction site not be regarded as safe for people to visit on a specific day, or more impressively delivering a tour of of a construction site to an office, living room or practically anywhere in the world via the internet.

The quality of footage supplied in this scenario, would be more detailed and complete than which is achievable by human carrying a GoPro or similar high performance camera.

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8. Point Cloud Inspections

Considered as the “most accurate file type for inspection and measurement” point cloud inspections are an important aspect of building surveillance and drones are far more capable than humans when it comes to providing complete and accurate data.

As with many of the other examples here, areas of significant height and reachability issues are easy for drones to capture making them the ideal choice for full coverage Point Cloud Inspections.

9. Site Logistics Simplified with Drones in Construction

From the whereabouts of ground workers and heavy goods vehicles to cranes and excavators it’s easy to keep an eye on on-site activities with drone surveillance.

Footage can be viewed in real time by on-site managers and ensure people and machinery are where they are required.

It also makes it easier to change procedures, by identifying where vehicles and people are located and re-purpose them in locations that are in greater need of there support.

The ability to quickly address any situations where work is being completed incorrectly or if a particular machine is in a place where it shouldn’t be, it’s easier to prevent delaying build times and instead streamline the construction operation.

10. Drone Deliveries on Construction Sites

Currently in the development stages drone deliveries are in the future of online retail giant amazon which could lead to similar applications on construction sites.

From getting essential tools delivered to a site, to getting the tools to specific or out of reach areas on a project are the immediate scenarios in which drone item drops would be beneficial.

They may also be hugely beneficial in providing emergency medical support, or food and water until further human support can be given.

Drones in Construction Provide a Better Working Environment

There still represents some legal issues surrounding where drones are able to operate (such as airports), but it’s hard to imagine a present or a future that doesn’t involve drones operating on construction sites. The large scale time, money and safety benefits they provide will prove to be imperative as house-builders and developers seek to reduce costs and overall build times. Drones in construction more than demonstrates the skies the limit as far as the introduction of artificial intelligence in construction is concerned.

What is your opinion and experience of drones in construction, do you consider them to be an absolute essential on-site or are they yet to live up to your expectations? Share your personal experiences and opinions via the comments below.

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