Drone use in construction industry skyrocketing

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Ryan Moret, Field Solutions Manager at McCarthy Building Companies Inc., is part of a new generation of construction workers utilizing UAS in the construction industry.  

A recent report on commercial drone trends by DroneDeploy shows that drone use has risen exponentially across a variety of fields; most notably, in the construction industry, where the use of this technology has skyrocketed by 239 percent year over year.

“The cost of the tool is low enough the quality of data we’re receiving is just intrinsically valuable when we see it,” Moret says via CNBC.

McCarthy Building Companies' first licensed UAS pilot, Moret’s first UAS assignment, which came almost immediately after he got his license, was to survey Children’s Health hospital in Plano, Texas.

“You’re a little nervous because you don’t know what to expect,” Moret acknowledges.

Before UAS became regular tools for construction work, large and expensive planes were primarily used to handle on-site aerial photography. UAS offer a significantly cheaper and safer alternative to planes, and they can also be equipped with technology to handle more advanced jobs like mapping and thermal heat imaging. Ultimately, though, UAS are primarily used to take aerial site photographs, Moret says.

“When trouble arises, something got covered up, or when conditions change and we have to look at where something was, picture is worth a thousand words--and a thousand dollars,” Moret explains.

According to DroneDeploy, via CNBC, DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro is the most popular mapping drone, followed by the foldable Mavic Pro, and the Phantom 4, which is what Moret uses. Most of the UAS used on construction sites are simple off-the-shelf UAS from DJI.

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