Drones Emerging As Profitable Tool For Construction Industry

The Future Of Construction With Drones

The construction industry relies on skilled labor, with problem-solving skills that are beyond reach of the most advanced robotics today. Nevertheless, UAV’s are already being used in strategic situations, to help inspect buildings more efficiently, and safely at construction sites using aerial imaging capabilities.

For example, Danis Construction based in Dayton OH recently acquired a DJI phantom drone, and had this to say:

“There are a lot of ways this could help us do things more safely,” said Rob Mauro, MEP coordinator for Danis. “Whether it’s surveying an unsound roof or some kind of situation where we need to set up scaffolding or where there’s risk involved, this could help.”

Beyond aerial inspections, and mapping, UAV’s can actually be used to build structures.  In Switzerland, researchers have used a fleet of quadcopters to assemble a 6-meter tower by laying 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam bricks.

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The installation involves a fleet of quadrocopters that are programmed to interact, lift, transport and assemble the final tower, all the time receiving commands wirelessly from a local control room. The tower, which will boast a height of 6 meters (19.7 feet) and a diameter of 3.5 meters (11.5 feet), will be constructed within a 10 x 10 x 10 meter (32.8 x 32.8 x 32.8 foot) airspace, in which up to 50 vehicles can be tracked simultaneously

This video shows a swarm of quadcopters flying in coordinated formations, and even around obstacles. It demonstrates the huge potential for construction automation.  In fact, Swiss researchers have programmed quadcopters to build a working rope bridge.

Worldwide, drones are helping construction companies save time, money and risk with data collected with aerial mapping and inspections.  And with future advances in artificial intelligence, UAV’s may actually become master builders themselves!

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Drone Flyover Of Tesla’s New Gigafactory

An Early Look At A Building That Could Change The World

When completed, this 5.5M sq. ft building outside Sparks Nevada will produce batteries for Tesla cars, allowing production of affordable electric cars.

Elon Musk intends for this building to propel humanity forward to sustainable transportation, by bringing the entire lithium-ion battery manufacturing process under one roof.  Battery production would start in 2017, and be up to full scale production by 2020.

Not only will it be the biggest lithium-ion producing factory on earth, but bigger than all existing Li-ion battery facilities in the world combined!

Watch the video and share what you think!

https://youtu.be/7QDApUM41js

See Tesla’s Next Generation Drone Design

The entire building will be completely powered by renewable energy via rooftop solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal energy.  The factory is perfectly aligned with true North to maximize solar efficiency, and allow GPS placement of the internal production centers inside the building.

The roof should be completed by Feb 2016.  Solar panels will be installed later, but the white covering will keep the roof cool, and optimize solar panel efficiency.

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The Gigafactory’s electrical infrastructure reportedly cost approximately $300,000.

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The foundation alone cost an estimated $16 million, and just the steel and concrete for the buildings mezzanine cost nearly $13 million.

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Let us know what you think!

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Thanks to Tech Insider and Tesla’s gigafactory for this article!

Watch How This Drone Get Its Battery Changed Automaically

Demonstration Video On An Automatic Inspection UAV System

It’s amazing to see fully automated drones working.  This is a video showing an automatic UAV survey &  inspection system, coupled with a user software interface.  All boundary coordinates are input into the mapping software, and the drone piloting, aerial images, and data is all downloaded automatically.

The coolest thing is that when the drone is low on batteries, it returns by itself to a small hanger, where it removes the spent battery, and replaces it with a fully charged one.  Then the drone takes off and resumes its mission!

Watch it here!

This Drone Helped Fireman Extinguish A Massive Lumberyard Fire

Drone Provided Real Time View Of Hot Spots

Keith Muratori is a Bridgeport CT firefigher (rescue 5), who assisted firefighters in neighboring towns with his drone, to give them a real-time view of a fire from above.  He captured some amazing video of this lumberyard fire destroying these quonset hut warehouses.

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This real time drone footage allowed the firefighters to direct their water spray at the critical hot spots, and saved the firefighters from unnecessarily risking their own well being by having to enter the burning warehouse.

Watch this amazing video!

To watch more of Keith’s fire videos, check out his you tube channel

Today’s Drone Racer Is Tomorrow’s Wind Turbine Inspector

$6 Billion Market Drones Inspecting Wind Turbines For Next 9 Years

A new study projects a huge spike in drone-based maintenance services for wind turbines over the next 9 years.  This sector of the renewable energy market could reach $6 Billion (£4bn) by then.

The study was conducted by Navigant Research based in Colorado.  If you’re considering a career change, check this out.  Seems like a low-stress job, based on this video of a man on top of a 200ft wind turbine.

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Read the article below, and share with a fellow pilot.

Drones may have a significant part to play in renewable energy, according to a new study, which found that drone-based maintenance services for wind turbines could amount to an industry worth nearly $6 billion (£4bn) in less than 10 years.

Colorado-based analysts Navigant Research, which focuses on emerging technologies, said it expected cumulative global revenue for wind turbine UAV sales and inspection services to reach that figure by 2024, with drones already gaining ground in this field, where they are proving “more than a novelty”.

Blade repair

Wind turbines, which typically stand hundreds of feet high, are in constant contact with the elements, and their blades require regular inspection to ensure they maintain efficient energy production, and to avoid the possibility of “catastrophic” blade collapse.

These inspections are currently carried out either from the ground, with limited effectiveness, or by access via ropes or platforms. Drones offer a middle option, Navigant said.

“Commercial-grade UAVs handled by professional operators can provide higher-resolution visual inspections than ground-based inspections,” the report explained. “They also provide an inspection that is quicker, easier, and less costly and risky than rope access techniques.”

Navigant added specialised drones are required for the task, since they must provide sharp optics and be able to maintain stability in strong winds.

“Equally important is the integration of data analysis systems and inspection services that can help automate data processing and analysis to mitigate the photo fatigue that can occur photographing, analysing, and cataloging vast blade surface image data across fleets of wind turbines.”

The market is already significant in size, with nearly 270,000 individual wind turbines operating globally at the beginning of 2015, with more than 800,000 blades spinning on these turbines, according to the company.

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