One day, the machines are going to come for us. Skynet, the Matrix, it doesn’t matter whichever cold, remorseless machine system it ends up being. It’s going to happen, simple as that. So why spend time worrying about the inevitable when you could be living it up in the time we have left instead? Some of these machines are actually pretty handy, and at Fieldwire, we welcome our future robot overlords. Construction drones are revolutionizing how construction, landscaping, and development teams are doing their work, and we wanted to clue you in on a few of the big names who have made it their mission to improve your on-site efficiency. See, these robots aren’t so bad after all! Might as well make friends today before they rise up tomorrow.

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The folks over at Skycatch have embraced the future and ushered in a new way to gather field data. Their team of roboticists and engineers have created a product that will “deliver actionable intelligence” to your project, and for a company that’s only a couple years old, they’ve been making a lot of noise. Skycatch utilizes their fleet of in-house UAV drones for construction site monitoring and capturing visual data from above to measure area, terrain, and safety so that you can plan smarter as you go. Their construction drones can hit speeds up to 50 mph and are dustproof, waterproof, and generally built to withstand the rough industrial environments you’ll be inviting them into. This kind of durable, adaptive equipment is pretty spiffy, and requires no special training to operate. Skycatch offers its users their COMMANDER app to control UAV drone navigation, and once your data has been collected from the construction sites, you can measure, share, and organize it with their Dashboard interface.

Skycatch is blazing a trail through the air above your construction sites, mapping everything and measuring progress and topography at a consistent elevation. These construction drones have automatic collision avoidance as well, so you don’t have to worry about banging it into something and angering the robot gods (or your wallet). There will be more drones in construction industry settings thanks to teams like the one at Skycatch. They’re a bright, hungry team just waiting to show you a new perspective on your work.

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Another innovative company spearheading the construction drone movement is Airphrame, and they’ve made it so you don’t need to operate any equipment yourself. Their UAV drones will soar over your construction sites to digitally survey the landscape and acquire geospatial data that you can then put to good use. They have several packages for you to choose from: 2D maps, 3D point clouds, and aerial photo sets. The 2D maps give a flat, straight-down perspective, which is good for construction site planning and surface assessments, while the 3D point cloud renders the entire area in XYZ axises and can help you with volume/height measurements and terrain modelling. Aerial photography is great for inspections and analyzing progress and site conditions. All data gets hosted online, so you can easily access and download it anytime. Using drones in surveying capacities suddenly becomes a no-brainer.

Remote inspections with Airphrame’s construction drones will save you time and effort while providing a bird’s eye view of your construction sites that you could never achieve on the ground. Using a drone in construction inspections doesn't have to be a daunting concept with a team like this guiding your way. They deliver quality visuals shaped around your specifications, so consider looking into this company for your mapping, photography, and construction site monitoring needs.

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Our final spotlight is turned upward at DroneDeploy, a promising young company looking to escort you into the commercial drone industry. They’ve recently launched Map Engine, a beta version of their easy-to-use mapping software that is compatible with any UAV drone you might own. Use their simplified app on a drone flight to capture images of your construction sites and upload them. They’ll be automatically processed and assembled into a map, which you can then crop and share as you like. The maps and 3D models that you can create using DroneDeploy have tremendous potential value for your project, and there’s no setup or extra equipment necessary (although it seems you do need to already own your own construction drones). The entire process takes minutes, delivering your data to you after a handful of clicks.

This autonomous method of construction drone use makes it wickedly easy to get results fast and accurate, and might be ideal for those who aren’t the most tech savvy. There’s a lot of potential for DroneDeploy down the road, and they're only going to help foster drones for construction sites more and more as time passes, so trying it out while it’s still in the early stages might be an easy way of onboarding your crew.

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Drones in construction have a large, diverse role to play in our future, and they’ve already found a strong niche in present-day construction. One day these all-seeing robots may have death rays mounted on them, but today they come equipped with cameras and sensors ready to build a mockup of your team’s achievements. Surveying construction sites on foot is a long, tedious prospect that swallows up time and money. Construction drones have dramatically diminished those costs, turning surveys into a largely automated process accomplished with a fraction of that effort. Those firms that start building a UAV army of their own will position themselves for success across (and above) their construction sites, while those who resist these modern touches might end up wishing they'd used drones down the line. Check out these exciting companies for yourself and put the technology of tomorrow to work for you today.

We at Fieldwire fully endorse drones in construction, and not out of fear of our future robot masters. We swear. Check out our app as well on Apple iOS, Android, and on the web - our service is free for small teams! We already support 1,000+ companies across 35,000+ projects, and we’d love for you to join us!

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