Drones perform multiple functions and can be used virtually in any industry. Between now and 2020, Goldman Sachs forecasts a $100 billion market opportunity for drones as powered by growing demand from the commercial and civil government sectors: $45 billion (infrastructure), $32 billion (agriculture), $13 billion (transport), and $10 billion (security). Drone use by builders is rather promising as drones can be introduced at any construction and development stage.
What can drones do at a construction site? Drones can optimize the construction process in various unexpected ways. Let’s talk about the following three functions:
1. Construction progress control
2. Assessment of emergencies
3. Building Information Modeling
Construction progress control helps to acquire information on construction site changes over specific period and compare current status with planned construction documentation. Drone flies around the construction site in an automated mode, while also taking photos and making orthophoto-, 3D- and landscape maps. The accumulated data goes to a private web portal accessible to responsible persons and construction stakeholders only, thus contributing to fast and streamlined communication between construction participants, as well as easier control over staff performance.
Drones also provide ad-hoc monitoring of the location of construction machinery, construction materials and temporary facilities. Small-sized drones can approach hard-to-reach engineering components.
Assessment of emergencies. In case of emergency, a drone flies on site to take photos and shoot videos, with all information being sent online to a situation center for prompt issue resolution. In addition, drones can perform live broadcasting.
Building Information Modeling. Drone photogrammetry makes it possible to not only match a certain construction stage with the plan but also then deliver an eye-catching site presentation in 3D. Once construction is over, a drone flies around the completed site and collects data to be then transformed into a precise 3D model of the facility. Such a model can be easily presented on a holographic table, a new presentation tool for real estate segment.
Drones are compatible with various advanced technologies (e.g. video analytics, BIM, drone show software and security solutions) and thus can be used almost in any sector.