Birds-Eye-View: 4 Smart Uses for Drones
Blog Contributed by MW Industrial
Sure, drones can take stunning aerial photographs. They can create sophisticated marketing videos. And we all love tracking job progress with time-lapse images. But drones have plenty of construction site applications that go beyond pretty pictures.
For a fairly modest investment, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can increase your efficiency and minimize man-hours on everything from surveying job sites to security. There are several ways that a birds-eye-view allows you to be more productive with less effort.
Here are four ways you should be using a drone on your job site to save time and money.
Surveying job sites with drones is faster, cheaper and more accurate than a team loaded down with tripods and expensive equipment. Nimble drones can squeeze into hard-to-reach locations and high-risk areas that would stop even the most experienced surveying crew in their tracks.
While it takes significant time and resources to translate complicated data collected by traditional surveying equipment, drones have the ability to transmit usable data in real time. The information can be uploaded immediately to create highly accurate maps. Tools like 3D laser scanners allow project managers to collect even more detailed information on a site’s topography and terrain.
Can a flying robot really be more effective than boots on the ground when it comes to job site security? Quite possibly, yes. Not to mention less expensive. You can set a drone up to automatically fly a pre-programmed route on a set schedule—including throughout the night.
A UAV’s visibility can also be superior to a pair of human eyeballs. Consider thermal cameras used at night, which can detect body heat and determine if said heat is a trespasser as opposed to curious wildlife. Speed is another advantage. A drone can survey an entire job site in the time it would take a guard to round the first corner of the property.
Analyzing high-risk areas and identifying safety issues in real time from an unbeatable perspective is a better way to monitor job site safety. Assessing the conditions of hard-to-access areas can minimize risk and reduce accidents. Drones are excellent at hovering over precarious areas to give you an accurate picture without putting any workers at risk.
Drones can also help you spot safety violations before they pose a problem. Not only will it be apparent if workers aren’t wearing the appropriate safety equipment, you’ll be able to quickly determine if scaffolding isn’t stabilized correctly or if a support is out of alignment. You may even be eligible for an insurance discount when using a drone to monitor your job site safety.
Using a UAV to record detailed observations in difficult-to-reach areas makes more sense than hiring expensive inspection crews to scour rooftops, survey damaged bridges or inspect any industrial site for that matter. No matter if you’re monitoring a site for deterioration or assessing damage after a weather event, using a drone is more efficient and less difficult.
A UAV doesn’t require scaffolding or harnesses to get into hard-to-access areas. With a drone, you can also get eyes on a site much sooner than you could get boots on the ground after a weather event or other incident—with virtually no risk.
No matter the job, using a drone on site is often safer, more efficient and less expensive than the alternative. In some ways, we’re merely scraping the surface of job site applications that a drone can tackle. But if we’ve learned anything from history, we should know that it pays to be early adopters and remain ahead of the curve.
Ready to invest in a UAV? This construction drone buying guide will get you started. And yes, on top of everything else, drones can also take very nice images—that happen to be as useful as they are enjoyable to ogle.
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