New Boss on Construction Sites Is a Drone
The site of a lavish new downtown stadium for the Sacramento Kings in California are being monitored by drones and software that can automatically flag slow progress.
Once per day, several drones automatically patrol the Sacramento work site, collecting video footage. That footage is then converted into a three-dimensional picture of the site, which is fed into software that compares it to computerized architectural plans as well as a the construction work plan showing when each element should be finished. The software can show managers how the project is progressing, and can automatically highlight parts that may be falling behind schedule.
At the Sacramento project, video is being captured by a drone-operating company called ImageInFlight. The software developed by the University of Illinois team can show how different subcontracting teams are working together.
The University of Illinois team is currently testing a system that will allow drones to attach cameras to locations across a building site, so that activity can be monitored continually. In experiments, they are also using a crowdsourcing platform to categorize workers’ activities in video footage. A manager can then see how different tasks are being performed overall, and how much time each individual is spending on a job.