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Drones in Construction

09/03/2020

Studio Victoria

3 minutes

The construction industry is one the sectors that benefits the most from the use of cutting-edge technology, and more specifically drones. During all the networking events that we attend, there is always the same question: how drones can be useful for construction? In this blog today we are going to review how drones can be integrated throughout the whole project’s lifecycle, how they can dramatically streamline your operations and help you to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS.

STREAMLINE SITE OPERATIONS AND REDUCE RISKS WITH REAL-TIME FEEDS FROM DRONES

Nowadays your operations can be more efficient and streamlined because drones have the ability to feed real-time imagery to external monitors located in your site’s office from any of the sensors (photographic, thermal or multispectral), giving you full visibility of your site’s condition in a matter of minutes, locating the areas that would require specific attention and preventing you from walking all around in uneven and sometimes perilous terrain.

MACHINE LEARNING TO COMPARE AS-DESIGNED VS AS-BUILT

By performing frequent inspections you will have constantly updated maps and models of your site and with our Machine Learning you can quickly assess discrepancies by comparing your CAD plans (“as-designed) versus the real result of what is being done at your site (“as-built”). You can also calculate stockpile volumes, take accurate measurements, check possible erosion, and go back and forth between the different scans.

Up until now, your crew could be digging or building a wall in the wrong location or way out of spec, but it could take you several weeks or even months to notice, sometimes putting you in the difficult position to decide whether to carry on with a project that does not comply with specification or tear it down and start from scratch again. Machine Learning analysing the results from the frequent drone inspections, comparing as-designed vs as-built can save your project vast amounts of money by giving you constantly updated information to spot discrepancies as they occur, preventing unnecessary delays.

FULL INTEGRATION OF DRONE INSPECTIONS WITH BIM

The drone imagery can be processed by our software to produce a wide variety of useful results like orthomosaics, digital terrain models, digital surface models, elevation maps, plant health reports when using the multispectral sensor, thermal reports (if we use a thermal camera), 3D mesh models and point clouds. All of these results can be exported to different formats and standards like shapefile, GeoTIFF, .obj, .las, WGS84, etc., This choice provides your current workflow with the ultimate flexibility by importing the results from the drone to your preferred BIM application (Autodesk Revit, for example).

DIGITAL TWINS PRODUCED FROM 3D MODELS MADE WITH DRONES

To improve and take the management of your facilities to the next level, the accurate 3D models produced with our drones can be made into a digital twin, which we can then turn into an interactive bespoke mobile application with full integration with smart sensors, to monitor the status of heating, air conditioning, foot traffic, energy consumption, and any other additional third party service that can give you access to their data.

ENHANCED TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY

Traditional topographic surveys are a tedious and long process, that usually take several weeks or months for big sites, requiring constant repositioning of the total stations and having the surveyor walking up and down your site, which might not always be the most even of terrains.

To read more about our topographic surveys, please click here.

THERMAL INSPECTIONS WITH DRONES

For the construction sector, thermal inspections can provide you with more information that the naked eye or photographic cameras cannot capture. By analysing the heat signatures of your structures and buildings you will know about their condition and energy efficiency.

If your site is in an area prone to flooding, a thermal inspection with drones will provide you with invaluable data about what areas are draining faster or slower, allowing you to decide where to put additional draining to prevent future catastrophic events.

Once your building is finished, a thermal report with our drones will provide you with possible sources of leaks, so you can fix them right away, reducing your possible claims and saving you money.

Even if your solar panels are brand new, it is always recommended to inspect them for invisible damage not evident in a visual inspection. With our thermal camera, we can produce a quick inspection and let you know if all your panels are in top condition, but if there is any unexpected damage, we will locate it.

We only use the leading thermal camera for drones in the market. It produces high-resolution, blur-free thermal videos and images. It can be adjusted to specific ranges of temperature, if required. This camera has some incredible specifications, with a sensitivity (NEDT) of <50 mk @ f/1.0 and a resolution of 640 x 512 at 30 Hz.

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