Drones are revolutionising the construction industry, unlocking a whole new level of efficiency. With their advanced capabilities, these flying robots can transform tedious and hazardous tasks into a quick and easy process, providing high-quality data and insights that can help builders, architects, engineers, and project managers make informed decisions and streamline the entire construction process.
This data develops 3D models, maps, and surveys that detail the relevant aspects of a site’s topography. The typical surveillance time for assessing these qualities is significantly reduced by drone use. Vast acres of land can be surveyed in 15-30 minutes, producing high-quality images and data. The information gathered from this can also be used by designers to simulate different scenarios, evaluate the impact of changes, and optimise designs for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Using drones to assess site progress, inspect structures, spot errors, and determine if designs are ill-suited to certain terrain, encourages efficiency and addresses issues before they become problematic. By offering a bird’s-eye view of the construction site, drones provide a detailed and accurate view of the structure. This ensures continuous documentation of the site’s progress, allowing progress reports to be distributed regularly to all stakeholders at once. Progress reports are essential for ensuring the timeline and budget of a project are on track.
Having a documented analysis of the site and its progress also provides construction managers with real-time information on the status of their inventory. This helps to reduce waste, improve efficiency, and save costs. Alongside this, drones can ensure security, spotting trespassers and identifying unsafe or non-secure areas. In turn, drones provide visual evidence that can settle disputes and avoid costly legal battles should issues come up.
Specific drones are used for certain jobs on construction sites. A Fixed-Wing drone is capable of mapping and scanning a site over long distances, while a Rotary drone is used for inspection and surveillance over short distances. Key features of these drones include GPS, thermal sensors, and a camera. Industrial drones are capable of advanced work with some able to lift 450kg worth of construction materials. These drones also use special attachments like 3D mapping sensors, robotic arms, and fire-extinguishing ball droppers. In the future, drones may even be able to guide construction vehicles using AI. These advancements have resulted in a 239% growth in drone use over the last few years. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even greater innovation in the use of drones in construction, leading to more efficient and sustainable building practices.
Drones have become an essential tool in the construction industry, providing a range of benefits that improve efficiency, accuracy, and safety. From site analysis and planning, to asset inventory and project reporting, drones are changing the way construction projects are designed, executed, and maintained.