Building industry technological trends 2018: drones
Drones are the next major technological innovation with a significant impact also in the construction industry
- Artificial intelligence
- Virtual reality
- Augmented reality
- Autonomous vehicles
- 3D printing
- IOT (internet of things)
This is a list of some of the technological innovations, work- related and non, that impact our everyday life.
Many ideas that were once considered as pure ‘science fiction’ are now being constantly adopted by the traditional industry with new and practical applications. One of the best technological innovations created and that is changing the way we see and interact with the world is represented by drones.
Drones have found industrial use in many professional fields. They are revolutionizing different sectors, from photodetection to war strategy, from geology to amateur photography, from rescue to logistics, from journalism to agriculture, cinematography, city and mountain security, from sports to street demonstrations, to the environment.
As a tool that improves communication and safety and thanks to their flexibility of use, drones can be considered among the emerging technological trends.
The rise of this technologies is having a particular impact on the construction industry, changing this sector way of operating. As a matter of fact, drones are replacing the traditional land-surveillance methods and reducing the time and labour involved in producing surveys. Furthermore, drones eliminate much of the human error implicated in processes.
What are drones?
Drones are radio-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles that can be controlled from the ground and can be used for high quality aerial photography.
Although there has been a lot of advertising in relation to the use of drones and their potential in delivering goods, the construction industry is expected to be the largest user of commercial drones in coming years, generating 11.2 billion dollars of the planned 100 billion dollars global spending (Goldman Sachs source).
They can be very useful in the supervision and control of construction sites at every stage of development, reducing workers exposure to risks.
What are the possible uses in the construction sector?
Drones are now being used for multiple construction industry applications:
- topographic, thermographic, photogrammetric, photographic and environmental mapping
- site surveying
- 3D model rendering
- energy and installations diagnosis
- control of photovoltaic systems functioning
- photographic surveys
- construction sites supervision
- materials transportation to the construction site
- civil protection activities and territory safety
- video footage of construction sites of major public works such as roads, quarries, landfills
- traffic analysis mediante by aerial video
- inspections of electrical lines, viaducts and other areas which are difficult to access
- roofs, buildings and infrastructures and cultural heritage control and inspection
- installation systems verification
- damages assessment and surveys and inspections in places difficult to access such as bridges, viaducts, electricity lines
- immediate assessment of areas affected by floods and landslides and for coastline control.
The use of drones is very important during the design phase, as it allows to detect both the area of intervention and the state of progress of the works.
They can be used for energy diagnosis of buildings, equipping them with infrared cameras.
Drones were introduced to take over those situations where the direct action of man would involve excessive risks or wouldn’t be very convenient from an financial and logistics point of view.
Moreover, they are often used today by project managers to observe workers remotely and ensure that safety standards are respected by all operators on site.
In conclusion, machine replaces man in those area of the construction site where major risks can occur, such as at high altitudes.
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