The use of drones commercially is skyrocketing around the globe with brand new ideas popping up in different countries. Companies like Matternet want to make peer-to-peer drone delivery common and Amazon wants to send your packages autonomously to your house via drones; but in the field of construction, drones are taking over by giving architects and builders crucial real-time data and 3D aerial maps from construction sites that was once expensive and difficult to obtain.
Useful drone applications
The main purpose of using a drone on a construction site is for surveying purposes as well as record keeping and portfolio building. These aircraft give you a distinct vantage point from the sky that no other piece of equipment (short of a helicopter) can do. On top of these benefits, using a drone is very cost effective and easy to use due to its autonomous flight features.
Aerial pictures and videos give professionals in the field of construction a brand new way to survey an area of land or a current project. It can alert workers of problems that are unseen from the ground and provides an excellent look at the progress of the work-in-progress.
One of the most popular forms of drone surveying is map building which can be done effortlessly with an application called DroneDeploy. Using their mobile app, pilots can plan a flight for their drone to follow, where it will take countless pictures along the assigned route. While these images might be of no importance by themselves, the online DroneDeploy application stitches all of the images together to make one high-resolution map.
The benefits of having this map are significant, giving project managers on the job site an up-to-date map of the surrounding area. Within the DroneDeploy application, you can take measurements on top of the map like distance and area to help with planning. They even include an option to view a 3D model from the photos that were taken.
According to analysts collected by DroneDeploy, usage of UAV’s has jumped 239% in construction. This is a major increase compared to mining at 198% and agriculture at 172%.
When building homes or commercial properties, documentation is key to show the work completed and to keep clients informed. Typical cell phone photos usually look bland and writing down a log of events that happened each day is tedious, but now with drones, construction companies have a brand new way to use images as far more accurate records.
An online representation of your work is everything in today’s digital age and companies need to make sure they display their best work. Showing drone images will give prospective clients a better feel for what to expect.
In other spaces of commercial drone use, regulations can be hard to get around that are put in place by governments around the world. Organizations like the FAA aren’t entirely open to autonomous drones carrying things around the United States, yet, which poses a big problem for companies like Matternet and Amazon, that are eager to develop the commercial drone market.
Drone-use in the construction industry faces very little restrictions except for the everyday flight limitations by governments such as not being able to fly over 400 feet, beyond line-of-sight or at night, here in the United States. Most pilots using drones to survey won’t likely need to touch that 400-foot limit or overstep any of the other boundaries for that matter, making commercial drone use within construction very easy to adopt.
Every two weeks I set out to my dad’s jobs to photograph his companies progress in building multi-million dollar houses. He builds them from the ground up and using my drone, I am able to capture every step of the way with high-quality imaging from my Phantom 4 Pro.
When a new plot of land is acquired, I map it using DroneDeploy to help with the initial design of the house. Photos are then taken throughout the project for personal use throughout the company to mark milestones and progress and are also sent to clients to keep them updated on construction. These photos are also uploaded to the website to attract potential customers.
Throughout my father’s construction company, my one single drone has played a pivotal roll in how homes are designed and how data is gathered which proves how useful they can be currently. Future applications will expand but for right now, drones are an excellent tool to have on any construction site.
What do you think about drones being used in the field of construction? Let us know in the comments below.
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Photo credits: DroneDeploy & Software Advice