Drones in Construction
Outpacing every other sector, the construction industry has welcomed drone technologies as an increasingly common phenomenon. All phases of construction activities profit greatly from a monitoring process that is both accurate and effective, making use of advanced tools including UAVs paired with various remote sensing systems. Having up-to-date visual information has proven very helpful, minimizing rework, waste of time and material, and possible litigation.
UAVs, with their capability to operate at different heights, not only excel in fulfilling monitoring and inspection tasks but also prove to be invaluable assets in the actual construction work. They can contribute significantly to the progress and efficiency of various projects. Drones’ ability to navigate through challenging terrains and access remote locations allows them to provide crucial support to construction crews, if not doing their work at all.
Whether it’s assisting in the transportation of essential materials to hard-to-reach areas, or performing construction tasks, UAVs have become indispensable tools in the construction industry. They also present an opportunity to minimize reliance on heavy machinery, such as cranes. By doing so, the need for transporting these bulky machines to and from the construction site is significantly reduced, along with the space required for their storage and challenging maintenance. Drones, in essence, embody a smart, lightweight, and highly mobile solution that not only optimizes the use of space but also proves to be cost-effective.
Autonomous Construction Drones from Fly4Future
The Fly4Future team (who were students of MRS CTU at the time) played a crucial role as core members of the CTU-UPENN-NYU team for Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge 2020 held by the Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, where they successfully tackled the challenge of building a wall using multiple cooperative robots, ultimately emerging as the winners.
The team successfully demonstrated the autonomous collaboration between three Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV). The assignment involved autonomous coordination of locating, picking, transporting, and assembling a diverse array of brick-shaped objects. The goal then was to construct predefined structures in an outdoor environment.
The members of the competing team were later recruited by Fly4Future and have since become valued employees. Currently, Fly4Future is actively engaged in the process of commercializing the results achieved during the competition.
Images source: Multi-robot Systems Group, Czech Technical University in Prague
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