Typically, progress tracking on a job site involves a supervisor walking around a job site with a note pad and a camera, but technology is slowly changing the way that process is being done. Drones have been all the rage in construction recently and a team of contractors and software developers have made them an ultra-powerful tool, but some workers are not too thrilled about it.
The Sacramento Kings are building a brand new $477 million basketball arena, the Golden 1 Center, that is set to open in the Fall of 2016. Deadlines in any project are extremely important, but missing a deadline and messing with a sports team’s arena opening has to be near the top of the list for the worst deadline to miss. That is one of the reasons that Turner Construction is using a new drone technology developed by a team of professors from the University of Illinois (U of I).
The software takes video from drones flying above the construction site, converts it to a three-dimensional model, and compares that model to the computerized schedule. This then allows the construction team to analyze where their project is falling behind. With a site as big as this stadium construction, it can be extremely easy to not realize a delay until it’s too late. The video on this project is being captured by ImageInFlight, who specializes in drone video.
Mani Golparvar-Fard, one of the software developers and assistant professor of Civil Engineering at U of I, told MIT Technology Review, “We highlight at-risk locations on a site, where the probability of having an issue is really high. We can understand why deviations are happening, and we can see where efficiency improvements are made.”
Unsurprisingly, many of the construction workers on site are a little weary of being watched so closely, fearing their privacy and being required to work even longer hours to keep pace. The U of I development team is also currently working on another platform that would monitor individual workers and their tasks even more closely. That technology is still in testing.
Below is the most recent drone footage of the brand new area, which shows the first roof truss being installed:
New Boss on Construction Sites Is a Drone | MIT Technology Review
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Since 2012, the team behind construction technology company, JBKnowledge, puts together the most in-depth construction tech reports. The report gives valuable insight into how contractors are utilizing technology in their offices and on the jobsites and identifies current and future trends.
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