Human beings have been constructing buildings, cities and everything a city can possibly consist of since 2600BC, so it’s safe to say that construction has been around for a while and will still be around for as long as civilization continues to grow. As with anything, methods people use for certain things develop over time, and currently, many methods and aspects of construction – planning, land surveying and data capturing to name a few – are becoming increasingly outdated and are being taken over by UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) or drones.
The construction industry is in love with drones. This is all thanks to the time, money and hard labour being saved by commercial drones being used instead of the “normal” way of doing things. For builders, an aerial view made possible with a drone allows them to better develop work plans, track progress and monitor and check for problems along the way. Drones are, after all, cheaper than flying manned aircraft.
Below is a list of some aspects of construction that drones are replacing for the better.
Mapping a Construction Site
Mapping a construction site has traditionally been a long, labour-intense process that requires a lot of time, skill and money. For large projects, companies often have to hire a plane to fly over the site and take photos. Programming a drone to weave in and out of any area you need it to within a construction site, capturing all the footage and information you need, saves a lot of effort and money. Including using advanced UAV technology to send this information straight to project mapping software or a computer.
Construction Site Inspections
Inspecting a busy construction site can be dangerous. Drones can carry out a visual inspection of high-risk areas which reduces health and safety risks because site managers can watch the footage from the safety of their site offices.
The ALTI GCS is a fully featured, advanced and modular ground control station, built specifically for the ALTI Transition but can also be used with various other unmanned aircraft as a stand alone GCS with data and video link options.
To carry out a building survey, the condition of the building’s roof needs to be assessed and checked for any faults or defects. Accessing a roof can often be difficult be an individual or team of builders. Scaffolding and ladders are usually used and this makes the process unnecessarily challenging and dangerous. Making use of a drone to perform the survey is a lot safer, which reduces the stress about safety risks and saves time and money for equipment.
Although the use of UAVs for construction work has many advantages, there are a few challenges, however minor, to take into account when considering making use of one.
- You need two people operating a commercial drone at all times. These individuals will have to know the exact flight route of the drone and have experience and knowledge in the field.. Individuals operating the drone need to understand many important aspects of the drone, namely the drone’s sensor, in order to retrieve the best possible footage and information. Light and cloud cover and are important here, for example, if you are taking a picture of a white roof, the settings and the height you fly at will be different than if you were taking a picture of a black roof.
- Drones are not cheap to buy. Although they do save a lot of money in the long run, the initial purchasing of a commercial drone is expensive. Many individuals, however, believe that costs will come down in the future as technology evolves.
The ALTI Transition is a highly capable, reliable and affordable civil use commercial VTOL (vertical take-off and land) aircraft perfectly suited for the construction industry.
Drone adoption by the construction industry in continuously growing as is the development of drones to suit various needs.
A recent study identified that 26% of construction professionals are already using or plan to use a drone by 2020.
Technological improvements will make drones fly faster for longer and improve footage quality ensuring that drones will soon be used by most construction sites and projects all over the world.