An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS); which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two.
The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously by onboard computers.
The growth of drones in construction is one of the fastest ways to get a bird’s eye view of job sites. Better management of a project can mean increased efficiency and a decrease in costs.
Use of Drones in Construction...
Site Scanning and Surveying
Existing environments are changing daily and drones offer a solution by scanning sites quickly. The software employed by Drones allows a pre-defined flight path to be established where it then autonomously gathers site data that can be used to build a 3D model of project. Accurate existing ground data would be invaluable information for pre-planning of sites or construction phases.
Construction Progression with Aerial Imagery
Not only can Drones be used for pre-planning, they can also be used to track and map construction progression. Many companies are using weekly, and even daily, aerial imagery and video from Drones to check on the current progress of their sites.
As long as a baseline ground profile flight is performed first, Drones make it very easy to compile volumes of current on-site materials. By doing a quick flight over your material piles, loading that data into software and subtracting the previous day’s flight surface, you can develop highly accurate volumes that cut down on waste while allowing you to constantly monitor supplies. Using a Drone also cuts the time to perform this task down from days to minutes.
Structural Inspection is a dangerous job. Inspecting the underside of a new construction bridge over water or renting a crane or man-lift to inspect tall structures can be very hazardous to complete. Both tasks can be completed easily by a drone without putting a worker’s safety at risk. This method is also much more cost effective when you consider the time needed to complete the tasks plus the added cost of equipment rental or safety procedures that are needed when you are responsible for a worker’s safety.
As Drone technology advances and users develop new and potentially better ways to use them, there will be a significant increase in Drone count, especially on construction sites where worker safety is top priority.