New Boss on Construction Sites Is a Drone

Drones are being used to capture video footage that shows construction progress at the Hillsborough county new stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Video imagery combined with computer designs shows how the  new stadium will develop.   The site of a new downtown stadium for the Tampa is being monitored by drones and software that can automatically flag slow progress.

Once per day, several drones automatically patrol the  work site, collecting video footage. That footage is then converted into a three dimensional picture of the site, which is fed into software that compares it to computerized architectural plans as well as a the construction work plan showing when each element should be finished.  The software can show managers how the project is progressing, and can automatically highlight parts that may be falling behind schedule.

The project highlights the way new technologies allows work to be monitored and it comes as productivity in other areas of work  is being tracked more closely using desktop software.

Software developed at the Drone mapping companies can show different stages of construction.
Monitoring activity across a large, complex construction site is particularly difficult because there are so many moving parts, and because the jobs being performed change frequently.   A report published in 2009 by the National Research Council of the National Academies found that construction lags behind other industries such as manufacturing in terms of productivity, and blamed the situation on problems with planning, coordination, and communication.

Another project involves tracking the activity of individual construction workers in video footage.
At the construction project, video is being captured by a drone operating company called Astro Aerial Photography. Their software can show how different subcontracting teams are working together.

While it is common to monitor progress closely, the near real time aerial images and software analysis being used provides a more comprehensive picture of what’s going on, and can highlight how a slowdown in one area may affect the entire project.  The nice thing about it is that it’s showing all the tasks in an area, so people are seeing the global impact.