How Drones Are Already Affecting Construction Sites

January 9, 2016

11:01 am

In the event of drones becoming a large part of every career in construction and other careers, there is a lot of talk about them.

New Laws

To begin, Congress has approved a registry to be created of those who are buying drones – whether by a hobbyist or a corporation. This would help everyone keep their drones out of danger as more and more have begun to interfere and scare professional pilots. Airplane passengers are also getting scares from these rogue drones.

These laws would also make sure that those who have previously bought drones would be subject to the law. Anyone who has bought a drone recently would have to put their name and registration number into the registry. This means if you buy one two weeks before the laws go into effect, you would have to be in the registry anyway.

Effects on Construction Sites

For a safety director on a construction site, the drones are a lifesaver. They can fly into places where they may not be able to see, and can spot unsafe conditions. Whether this means finding a precariously perched scaffold or a worker painting from a ladder when there is obviously some safer way, it can be found. Being small and agile, they can also go into those hard to see places inside the buildings, where smaller workers could fit but might be unsafe.

However, drones can also do much, much more for construction sites once their full potential has been explored.

What Do Drones Do Now, Besides Safety Surveying?

Drones can also provide up to date 3D maps and progress reports. It can be difficult and incredibly expensive in some cases for a customer or worker to visit the site constantly to see what’s going on.

Instead, you can send pictures right from the drone when they want an update on the progress of a certain area. This is a good way to keep them up to date on what’s going well and what’s going not so well.

Drones also allow construction workers to keep their projects on budget and on time. Since it can help prevent incidents, many workers will be able to work the duration of the project. It will also keep a company from having to fix anything that breaks in an unsafe condition.

Where Does This Potential Come Into Play?

Japan is a good example of how the drone potentials are being explored. This country is currently experiencing a declining population – many of the citizens are in their older years, and fewer children are being born. Often if a couple is having their first child in Japan, they are in their forties because of the pressure for the women to leave the workplace after they are pregnant.

Due to this lack of a workforce to satisfy all the demands of the country, Komatsu is exploiting the drones’ potential. They have come out with a service called Smart Construction. This allows workers to connect to a cloud where drones and artificial intelligence assisted controls will be able to report their success. It’s meant to improve the overall efficacy of any construction company that is using workers and drones, and in general any construction company in light of this worker shortage.

Drones have also begun to be used in other aspects of keeping areas safe in Australia and Kenya, and those can affect construction sites in those countries. After all, if a poacher is continuously going through your site to get to their game, wouldn’t you want to know?

Other implications in construction, however, include looking for corrosion in concrete or metal structures, identifying the trickier to find issues in buildings, and be able to save money on these routines.

Furthermore, as drone technology becomes much more sophisticated, the possibilities for drones in the construction careers will skyrocket.

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Alex Espenson is a recently retired business owner turned consultant, with a passion for entrepreneurism and marketing. When he isn't writing or consulting, you can usually find him out on the river with his fly rod, or hiking in the hills near his home in Boulder Colorado.

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