Drones in Construction: How are Drones used? (2021)

Drones in Construction

Drones – You have probably seen them all around. Drones can be used to fly around in a room or capture unique aerial footage. They are even useful in construction.

As the industry evolves and construction projects become more and more complex, Drones in Construction will continue growing in popularity. Continue reading to find out more about these futuristic devices that are changing the construction industry.

How are drones used in construction?

How are drones used in construction

Calculate volume accurately and quickly

The most common use case for drones at work is volumetrics. Drone-captured data can be a cost-effective source of accurate and timely information about volumes for many construction companies, especially those that own their quarries.

You don’t have to rely on outside survey teams or walk around every site with a GPS rover. Now you can fly a drone to capture the entire site. This is usually done in less than an hour. After the data is uploaded and processed, you can obtain accurate cut/fill volumes and other analytics needed for tracking and planning job progress.

It is also helpful to capture data on-site when it comes to earthworks. You need to quickly calculate the volume of dirt to be moved if you are moving dirt around. 3D drone-data survey allows you to track earth-moving operations more safely and economically than traditional walkthroughs.


Drones are a valuable tool for marketing teams. Drones can be used to capture video from an unusual perspective. Nothing beats the breathtaking views and detail provided by drone footage. Clients can receive feedback and images of the site and progress during construction. For real estate purposes, finished projects can be captured on film.

Elon Musk, for example, took drones in construction to a new level at the Tesla Gigafactory, Texas, USA. Tesla fans were allowed to fly drones above the site and take their footage. This footage was a huge hit on social media and helped to boost the Tesla brand.

Read Next: How to Start a Drone Photography Business

Cutting costs and improving safety

Gathering aerial imagery and data was difficult before drone technology. It was more expensive than traditional, on-foot, or manned aerial vehicle methods. A drone can now quickly and efficiently inspect a job site, and it does so at a fraction of the cost and time required.

Operators can also maximize efficiency and review projects in a shorter time frame. They can also keep extra staff away from potentially dangerous situations.

Operators can quickly see real-time imagery from projects as they are being built, optimize efficiency, and identify potential problems before they occur using pre-programmed flight routes that can be repeated daily. This allows for savings, avoids waste, and maintains safety standards.

Real-Time Progress And Monitoring

Clients, managers, investors, and others can view a site’s progress using drone data. This allows them to track work done. The software can use the data and imagery to create models that allow users to compare construction work with original plans.

This allows them to see how a site progresses and which parts are behind. The information can be viewed from any computer globally without the need to visit a job site.

Interactive maps can be used to update 3D maps, elevation data, and volumetric measurements. This allows users to monitor work progress better and keeps investors and clients informed.

Construction projects can be saved a lot of time and money by closely monitoring and analyzing the most current imagery and data. This also allows for better communication between parties and facilitates collaboration to improve planning and decision-making.

Inspect your assets remotely, faster

You might have assets to inspect at your site, depending on the job and your company. Drones can quickly take high-resolution photos that can then be viewed on platforms such as Propeller. These photos can then be annotated and downloaded as reports shared with contractors and other project stakeholders.

Drones can do remote asset inspections. This saves money and reduces the risk for contractors and employees.

Safety checks

Construction companies are using drones to conduct safety checks remotely. You can quickly spot safety problems and take corrective action from the air. In real-time, you can see and record security problems or vandalism. Drones can be controlled to view a site from multiple angles and even move inside buildings to collect additional data.

Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) has made it possible to collect data and create alerts that can be used to prompt action. Drones could detect gas leaks and other violations of safety and health rules, or detect damage using optical and infrared cameras and air quality sensors.

Resolve disputes faster

Nobody wants to move dirt that they don’t need to. Drone technology gives you more control and allows you to set the amount you pay your contractors based on actual work performed.

You can use drone survey data, timeline features, reports, and other tools to resolve disputes with contractors. You can easily track where things have gone and when they leave at each survey, thanks to the paper trail.


Collaboration is possible with drones. Now stakeholders can view a site from thousands of miles away. Video access via drones allows for enhanced communication when making multi-stakeholder decisions.

Read also: Cool Things You Can Do With a Drone

Different drones for different data

Different drones for different data

You need to know what data you want to extract before you invest in drone technology. There are many types of drones on the market, each with different sensors that can be used to accomplish different goals.

  • Drone technology is still primarily focused on photo and video equipment, with construction teams taking photos for site inspection and monitoring.
  • Thermal sensors are used to create lidar and thermal maps. To create more detailed images of a site, you can use an infrared camera.
  • In surveillance and virtual reality drones, geo-location, and metric sensors such as global positioning systems (GPS), are used frequently.
  • Air quality sensors are used to check for safety and health.

Autodesk divides drones into three types, based on four criteria.

Fixed-wing: These unmanned aircraft can take off from runways and carry a lot of equipment. These drones are ideal for land surveying.

VTOL: These drones can take off vertically and can also be quadcopters. They are limited in battery life and can carry only very small equipment. They are therefore ideal for site inspections.

VTOL- tethered: When you don’t require the drone to move once it is in the air, tethered drones are a good option. They have long battery life and some can charge or recharge via the tether. They are perfect for security surveillance as they can be carried with very little equipment.

It is important to weigh the drone’s equipment and consider how much payload it can carry. A drone’s battery life is an important consideration since large construction sites might require it to fly for many hours before needing to recharge.

FAQs Regarding Drones in Construction

FAQs Regarding Drones in Construction

What are the uses of drones in surveying?

Stockpile volumetric measurements with a drone Surveyors can capture more topographic data points and thus get more precise volume measurements. This is also safer than manually capturing the data, which they can do by climbing up and down a stockpile.

Source: https://wingtra.com/drone-mapping-applications/surveying-gis/

How do drones process data?

Digital Photogrammetry is a technique that processes drone data. The word photogrammetry is shorthand for “picture,” and grammetry is shorthand for “measurement”. It’s the science of measuring length, area, volume, etc., from an image.

Source: https://www.geospatialworld.net/blogs/what-happens-when-we-process-drone-data-under-the-hood/

What is drone technology?

In technological terms, a drone is an unmanned aircraft. … A drone is a flying robot that can remotely be controlled or flown autonomously using a software-controlled flight plan in its embedded systems. This works in conjunction with GPS and onboard sensors.

Source: https://internetofthingssagenda.techtarget.com/definition/drone

What industries use drones?

Top Industries Use Drones to Work Agriculture. Farmers use drones to collect data about their crops and then to improve their yields.

  • Chemicals
  • Conservation.
  • Construction
  • Delivery
  • Filmmaking.
  • Mining.
  • Insurance
  • More items…

Source: https://www.flyability.com/commercial-drones


The importance of drones in construction is increasing. They are used to collect valuable information and insight during construction. Drones can cover large areas quickly and easily and produce detailed 3D images of both the project site and its surroundings.

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