How drones are set to affect the construction industry in 2020 (and beyond)

As new technologies become more prevalent in the construction industry, you can expect to see drones being used more frequently in 2020 and in the coming years. That’s according to a new article describing how drones are expected to be used in order to boost efficiency in the industry. “In the wake of Industry 4.0, many companies have tried to utilize automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. This is especially prevalent in the construction industry where the need for increased efficiency and delivering a quality product, both physically and digitally, has now become a necessity rather than an indulgence,” according to the article. “Many technologies have sprung up to meet the challenge, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and drones.”

There are numerous types of drones that can be employed for construction purposes. Sometimes called Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) or Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), these devices can have cameras attached to them or lights that help construction workers do their jobs better.

Interestingly, drone usage has increased dramatically in recent years. “DroneDeploy, a cloud software platform for commercial drones has compiled statistics on drone usage based on 100 million aerial images from 400,000 job sites in 180 countries in 2018,” as noted by the article. Some key findings include that the industry “has seen an increase of 239 percent in the adoption of drone technology.” Additionally, the study notes that the benefits are many, such as “increased safety, cost saving and better data collection and usage.” Beyond those benefits, drones are also important for tasks that require automation. “Inspection can now be done while the construction is being undertaken. Various drone platforms now allow for automated drone operations that provide vital information for construction, such as cut and fill parameters, volumetric analysis of stock piles, comparison against design data and conducting accurate and repeatable topographical surveys,” according to the article.

As noted above, drones can help with employee safety in a variety of ways. “Drones allow access to dangerous areas (working at height, chemical exposure, heat exposure) which were previously deemed as high risk to personnel and cost intensive. For example, an inspection of a rooftop would utilize scaffolding and harnesses, which take time and effort to setup, whilst a drone could capture a wealth of data in a fraction of the time and cost,” as noted by the article.

In conclusion, drones are being used to help construction workers more than ever before. With a plethora of benefits to workers, it’s highly likely that they’ll continue to be used in the years to come. As a result, they’ll help boost efficiency and productivity for construction workers and keep them safer on the job too.