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Construction industry ready for take-off with drone technology

Speaking with the specialist website Building Information Modelling, Ian Tansey outlines the advantages that drones promise for the construction and building sectors. These can be summarized as: 3D modelling, progress monitoring, and the mapping process known as orthomosaics. Other matters of interest for the construction sector are presented in the Digital Journal article “Construction set for increased digital transformation by 2025.”

According to Tansey drone technology can be easily deployed and in a safe and cost-effective for any task that requires digital information. In a separate analysis of the top ten business sectors utilizing drones, construction together with plumbing came out in top place, at 11.5 percent (a figure that is anticipated to grow).

3D drone models

In setting out three applications of drones in construction, Tansey cites, first, 3D modelling. Here 3D models produced for large areas can be easily created using drone technology. These 3D models can be imported into software packages to enable comparisons can be made with designs.

Progress monitoring

The second area is progress monitoring. Tansey states that “drones are the best way for companies to monitor work progress on a project.” Gathering aerial information allows project managers to track progress, to manage resources, and to reduce downtime.


The third area is orthomosaics, which refers to the creation of an aerial photograph or image that is geometrically corrected (“orthorectified”) such that the scale is uniform: the photo has the same lack of distortion as a map. Such data can be used to understand the development area in fine detail.

These predictions about the wider adoption of drones are matched by other analysts, where it is evident that drones benefit construction by offering a unique vantage point. Major building firm Balfour Beatty predicts that the use of drones in the construction industry will play a key part in the digital transformation of the sector.

In related news, research shows that artificial intelligence can provide new insights to help reduce wear-and-tear injuries, it can also help to boost the productivity of skilled construction workers (see: “Making construction safer with AI“). For more about the digital transformation of the construction sector, see “Digital transformation of construction.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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