Drone technology is used across many industries, such as delivery, mapping, sports photography, farming, and more. The construction field has become an emerging market for drone use. Drones are often used on construction sites to map sites and structures as well as to track the progress of an ongoing project.
According to IHS Markit, drones are expected to increase in use in this field as well as demolition. It's expected to grow to 126,000 units by 2020. That's a considerable increase from 2015 with just 5,000 units. Drones are useful in capturing HD images with 3D topography allowing contractors to collect more accurate data. The speed at which they collect data is the driving force behind their increased use on construction sites.
Contractors use drone aerial photography to create topographical maps of the job site. This is used for calculations and the bidding process.
When construction begins, the drones are used to monitor the movement of materials and to assess how much material is in stockpiles. You can also track your equipment and vehicles.
Once the project is in full swing, the drone can provide status information on the progress and inventory of materials for the project. This is helpful when deciding how much materials are needed to order before completion.
Not only do drones give contractors a bird's eye view of the job site, but they also enhance safety for all of the workers and surrounding pedestrians. Drones can monitor rooftops and every part of the building under construction. These drones save the inspector's precious time and minimize the risk of entering potentially dangerous areas to carry out an inspection. Other structures that can quickly and safely be inspected with drone use are bridges, tunnels, and highways.
Artificial intelligence is entering the scene to make aerial drone technology even more useful for construction. The John Deere company, in conjunction with drone maker Kespry, offers an AI solution for construction sites. The industrial drones are tracking stockpile inventory and earth movement on the site. These industrial drones can follow a designated path and land without an operator. They can capture topographic data with extreme accuracy.
In the future, drone makers hope to create heavy lifting drones to move construction tools and materials. The lifting capabilities, however, are merely in the planning stages.
The evolution of drones will bring speed and efficiency to many fields such as construction, fire services, and farming. We are on the cusp of a second industrial revolution, and drones will be one of the technological advances at the forefront of this exciting new world. Finding new and better ways to work will ensure safer and more efficient work sites in construction.
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