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Drone Technology Tailor-Made For Construction

When most people think of drones, they imagine a mini-copter dropping off an Amazon order on someone’s doorstep. But the commercial drone industry—expected to reach the $5 billion mark by 2020—is currently dominated by construction applications, not parcel deliveries.

Drones (technically known as UAVs for “unmanned aerial vehicles”) are cheaper to fly than manned, fixed-wing aircraft and can collect data much faster than a human surveyor. In fact, they collect massive amounts of data that can be integrated with BIM and CAD information to help builders efficiently manage projects, deploy resources and cut costs.

Here are some of the advances that are making drone technology so useful in the construction field: 

  • Resource monitoring – Aerial data can easily get converted into volumetric measurements of jobsite resources like sand, gravel and building materials. 
  • Eliminating travel costs – With drone technology, architects and builders don’t need to physically visit jobsites to check project status. 
  • Greater safety – There’s no need to climb a craneor pilot an aircraft for aerial surveillance.
  • Simple programming – The newest drones can be programmed easily pre-flight with just a single motion or one tap of an app button. For example, the 3D Robotics Site Scan lets a user define the scan area by simply drawing a box around an aerial view of the jobsite.
  • Quality control – Drones make it easy to assess project compliance and detect when a job is even slightly off-course.

Thousands of builders will get to enjoy drone technology long before it becomes commonplace in package delivery—although it might be used one day for bringing “Sold” signs to newly built neighborhoods.

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