Using Drone Technology in a Construction Environment
The construction industry is undergoing a never before seen revolution and unmanned aerial vehicles are playing a big part in said revolution.
The introduction of drones to the general market isn’t exactly new but neither is it exactly old. For years, there were speculations concerning the various ways in which drones could be used to the benefit of people in various lines of work asides from being a form of entertainment for hobbyists. And one particular line of work which is gradually coming to embrace the application of drones more and more in a variety of facets is construction.
Construction is one of those industries that’s as old as man, especially considering that we’ve been building all sorts of small and complex structures for more than a millennia. With advancements in the tools and equipment that construction workers now have at their disposal, the industry has witnessed a lot of improvements. Said improvements are most evident along the lines of construction safety, efficiency, and reduced cost. But with the addition of drones to the list of work tools a typical construction team has at its disposal, another major upgrade could be in the works when it comes to construction efficiency.
For those who are unclear as to what a drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is, think of it has a small remote controlled aircraft with a camera attached to it that can be used to monitor and survey a construction site from a safe distance. It can also be used to access and assess small or dangerous spaces that construction workers might have trouble physically accessing.
According to drone specialists Drone Guard – drones for commercial use at the moment are significantly expensive but they still make a great investment for construction companies considering all the benefits they get to enjoy from using them. Asides from the actual cost of purchasing the drone, there’s also the cost of drone insurance to take into consideration, especially considering that drone insurance can make the difference between the financial implications of losing or damaging a drone. But as already said, the return on investment on a drone purchase for a construction firm can be well worth it especially when you take into consideration the following benefits from Drone Guard IE;
Enhancing precision and quality of construction designs
Thanks to the aerial view provided by drones used on construction sites, it is possible to get top quality aerial imagery with greater ease. Such captured images can serve a variety of purposes especially in the design stages of construction as well as for the amendment of errors that might not be noticeable when scrutinising a construction project from the ground.
In construction, the building of scaffolding or the use of mobile platform equipment are often required for the purpose of carrying certain types of surveys and assessment of an ongoing construction project. Setting up such platforms can be quite expensive especially considering the time and resources required to set one up. Using a drone takes away all such costs by making it possible for a construction team to perform standard surveys and inspection activities in a much more cost efficient manner.
Minimising the number of dangers typically faced on a construction site
Rather than send individuals into unstable environments, a drone can instead be sent in. This greatly reduces the number of risks that are typically associated with working on a construction site. A clear example of such a situation is the use of drones to inspect the tallest points of a structure. Instead of having a man/woman expose themselves to the danger of falling, a drone can be sent in their place to inspect and evaluate.
Real time data
A drone can be quickly sent into any location of a construction site to collect images and other data. This information can be live streamed in real time to the construction team thus providing them accurate and up to date information which can be of great use in making decisions concerning a project.
These are just some of the benefits that the use of drone technology has introduced to the construction environment.
At the moment, regulations concerning the use of drones in various fields of work (including construction) are still evolving. But in time, regulations that encourage greater use of drones and even provides incentives for such usage will likely be introduced as the benefits of the UAV in ensuring safety and reducing costs becomes increasingly apparent.
Keep in mind that there are a variety of drones currently on the market and their capabilities are quite different. What would make a great drone for a hobbyist might not necessarily make for an effective drone for those in the line of construction. Thus, it is very important to consider what exactly it is a drone is required for on a construction site and using the required features as a guide in selecting the appropriate drone for your needs. For instance, a construction team that needs a drone for surveillance functions will likely focus more on a UAV with a greater flight span, longer battery life, and better camera quality. On the other hand, a construction team that needs a drone for accessing tricky locations on an ongoing project will likely require a drone whose capabilities are more focused on its manoeuvrability.
Adding a drone or drones to equipment used on a construction site can be a costly investment but it’s a beneficial one with a healthy return on investment. Not only will the use of drones on a construction site reduce the cost of certain processes, it can also reduce the timeframe of certain jobs, improve safety, and deliver more accurate information. Simply put, the application of drones in construction can play a big role in moulding the future of construction.
In little time, more and more ways which drones can be applied to construction will be discovered and thus lead to an even greater revolution. The construction companies that are prepared to embrace these changes could be the next leaders in the field of construction.