More Evidence That Drones Could and Should Play Major Role in Infrastructure Inspections

By on February 12, 2019

From ConstructionDive: report from the Lulea University of Technology in Sweden indicates that drones have a major role to play when it comes to inspecting and monitoring the state of the world’s infrastructure, according to Digital Trends.

To carry out inspections of wind turbines, researchers used a system that combines “localization, path planning and mapping technology” in order to control and coordinate multiple drones flying at the same time in a relatively small area. After the drones collected data, the information was converted to 3D images so that inspectors could perform virtual inspections from the safety of the ground.

Researchers said inspections can be performed faster and safer than the current process, which sees humans carry out those tasks for inspections on dams, wind turbines and other types of infrastructure.

Dive Insight:

Using drones to inspect infrastructure is something the Minnesota Department of Transportation has been testing for a few years. In 2015, the department started studying how drones could be used to inspect the state’s bridges, and, according to the state, drones and the associated technology have proven to be helpful and effective in improving the quality of those inspections, reducing costs and improving safety. In fact, the Minnesota DOT found that drone-assisted inspections saved an average of 40% off the cost of their traditional counterparts, mainly from savings on traffic control and equipment.

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