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Drone Use in Construction on the Rise

Overhead view of construction vehicles and gravel

Ease of use and relatively low cost have contributed to an increase of drone technology at construction sites during the last several years. Contractors utilize drones to fly over job sites and collect data in real time, which can be used with specialized software to create high quality 3D models for project collaboration. Drone footage can also track work progress, monitor materials and equipment, and look for possible problems or safety concerns.

Improving Safety

According to a recent article at forConstructionPros.com, there are five ways that drones help improve safety at construction sites:

1. Remote Site Survey and Inspections

Surveyors have traditionally walked the entire job site to complete an inspection, which can be a time-consuming process and present safety concerns due to heavy equipment movement and transport of materials. Much of this task can now be done with a drone. Overhead images help target possible hazards such as dangerous road grades, and areas that are difficult or unstable to access on foot are easily viewed from above.

2. Monitor Site Progress

This is especially helpful for large work sites. Drones send real-time video to project managers who generate 3D models to compare current state with the initial job plan. Side-by-side comparisons are made at select intervals to ensure no deviation is occurring. Transport of materials and traffic flow can also be monitored.

3. Inspect Concrete Projects

Drones furnish information that may be missed from the ground, including the discovery of cracks and deterioration to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. This method of inspection can also provide tremendous savings in time and cost.

4. Theft Deterrence

While many contractors use security cameras to monitor work areas and prevent theft, some locations may be out of the cameras’ view. A drone can fly almost anywhere equipped with motion sensors, infrared or night vision cameras. This benefit is especially valuable given that theft of equipment and materials at construction sites has increased.

5.  Measuring Stockpiles

Drones can easily calculate stockpile volumes and assets to determine when more materials should be ordered. This is a faster and safer method versus sending a person to the site to perform measurements. Aerial photos are captured, then combined with GPS or ground control data to convert to a 3D image. Outlines are drawn at different times to show how much gravel or sand has been removed for accurate tracking of inventory.

Click here to read the whole story at forConstructionPros.com. Image above courtesy of their website.

October 7, 2021

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