Fresh off a recent announcement of a major partnership with a former competitor, 3DR says it’s ready to dive into the construction sector as a key player in drone inspection and data analysis.
In a recent interview with ConstructionDive.com, CEO Chris Anderson said his company’s latest decision to integrate its Site Scan software package with DJI drones may push more construction companies to use drones for aerial job-site tasks.
“For a construction company, there are three dimensions that matter — time, cost and quality,” Anderson said. “You can only manage what you can measure, so if you could measure a project better, then you could manage it better and therefore it would be faster, cheaper and better. Drone scanning is just one of the tools that allows you to measure that site better.”
By marrying DJI drones with Site Scan’s workflow management functions, Anderson says construction firms will find several uses for drones across every stage including monitoring foundations, earthworks and quality assurance.
“Construction teams right now are mostly in evaluation mode, and so they have standardized very few new technologies,” Anderson said. “Over time, standardizing a single hardware platform [for something like drones] will make it easier to deploy more broadly.”
Anderson’s enthusiasm for construction solutions comes at a time of transition for 3DR. In addition to the California-based company’s DJI partnership, 3DR added further functionality to Site Scan in November with an integration solution for Autodesk that allowed overlays of CAD drawings on an actual construction site image captured via drone.
Last year, Dallas-based construction company Austin Commercial hired 3DR to scan a newly constructed skyscraper. Pilots flew from the top of an apartment tower and hovered down each floor shooting 30 rooftop photos and 200 photos of the building’s exterior.
Mapping the site alerts builders to any rooftop cracks or crooked flooring in the building. Site Scan’s maps and models, taken at regular intervals; provide “eyes-on” of project status for construction crews, subcontractors and safety personnel.
“Alongside one-click data collection, processing and analytics capabilities, Sony R10C on Site Scan integrates seamlessly with existing workflow applications so industrial users can survey, inspect and scan commercial worksites almost effortlessly,” Anderson said in a 2016 press release.
By leveraging powerful alliances between aerial software creators and stalwart companies like DJI, Anderson tells ConstructionDive that he can foresee a day when a construction drone is as mundane as a bulldozer on any job site.
“I will be happiest if drones become a boring bit of construction machinery like a generator or a crane. When you go to a construction site, on the outside wall it says ‘Warning, laser in use.’ That’s because it’s completely standard. Maybe someday it will say ‘Warning, lasers and drones in use.’”