Monitor job site progress. Drones can be used to remotely monitor job site progress to make sure things are on track and to create immediate, real-time changes or adjustments as needed. The footage can be sent in real time to clients, investors and lead persons on the job. Architects and engineers can gain immediate access to the job site on screen, rather than having to make the trip out.
Measure stockpiles/excavations. Catch major and minor deviations. Computer technology can compare what's on the plans to what's happening in real life. Images from the drones can be fed through specific software to compare it with the plans. This type of surveillance can show you if walls are misaligned or if a window is missing or installed in the wrong place, for example.
Increasing job site safety. Your drone surveillance can show you whether or not your workers are using best practices - regardless of whether management or an OSHA safety inspector is on site. You can correct these behaviors immediately and workers will be more apt to use best practices when they know they are being watched. The drones can also access dangerous or hard-to-reach areas, such as an unfinished roof, allowing inspectors or specialists to assess a particular challenge or issue, and make recommendations for changes, or improvements without putting themselves at risk.
Reduce the amount of high-risk work performed by humans. Currently, only smaller hobby-type crafts - mostly good for video and photo only - are allowed to be used in any type of construction site monitoring capacity. However, as legislation
continues to address the needs and wants of the public, larger drones - even with permits - will become the norm. These drones will have nanobot technology, allowing high-risk work to be done by the drone, rather than humans, further enhancing job site safety conditions.
A recent article in Construction Executive states, "drones show potential to aid job site safety and efficiency." And, a similar article on siemens.com is titled, "Need Construction Site Surveillance? Hire a drone." We can see it now, once the legalities have been worked out, construction sites will have large signs saying, "Warning: This job site is monitored by drones with cameras.” In most cases, construction companies contract out for drone work, however, they can certainly become an in-house operation as well with the right training and resources.
Reduce construction theft. We half-joked that construction sites may soon post signage announcing they are surveilled by drones. However, this type of surveillance could drastically reduce construction theft. In addition to preventing in-house theft, occasional fly-bys of vacant sites can deter vandalism, theft or loiterers from placing your job site on their rotation.
This may be a stretch, but someday drones could be used to transport materials. If drones could transport materials from one side of the job site to the other, there will be less manual labor needed from the workers. This would be especially helpful in the hard to reach areas, where workers might have trouble moving materials with ease. The weight of the objects being transported would be an issue, though, depending on the size and power of the drone being used. Another issue would be how they would pick up the materials- manually attached by a human or mechanically with a claw or net.