Reshaping How Construction Companies Capture Site Data

February 16, 2022

Digital reality capture yields many benefits for the construction sector by creating a consistent visual record of progress. It means that contractors and project managers are no longer required to rely solely on redline markups or a subcontractor’s word. And because data is stored in a centralized location, it can be retrieved or shared in seconds instead of manually digging through photos or files.

How this data is captured has evolved significantly in recent years. Many construction companies now use drones for aerial site reality capture. Drones eliminate the need for employees to document job sites manually. Data from drones can even be integrated with CAD modeling software, making it easier to compare as-built with design plans.

However, while drones have helped progress reality capture in construction, there has always been a missing piece of the puzzle. Now, ground robots can capture data from a whole new perspective – saving time and costs and providing a 360-degree picture of progress.


The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

While drones are a valuable tool in construction, ground robots (such as Spot from Boston Dynamics) have some unique advantages. They can carry heavier payloads than drones, capture high-definition sensor data, and withstand harsh environmental conditions like strong winds. They're also not impacted by air restrictions or pilot licensing requirements.

But, perhaps most importantly, ground robots can go inside of structures, navigate stairs and obstacles, and capture building interiors from a close-up, ground-level perspective. And when that kind of data is combined with drones' efficient aerial capture, DroneDeploy creates an all-in-one reality capture solution offering a number of benefits. This comprehensive view and in-depth analysis mitigates the need for manual inspections, provides a visual audit trail, and enables better design-to-reality comparisons.

The scale and frequency of rework are reduced because quality is checked more frequently and at all job stages. Employees don’t need to capture site progress by carrying around cameras or LiDAR scanners, giving them more time for high-value tasks. And the digital audit trail helps companies defend against legal claims or disputes, helping some companies save hundreds of thousands of dollars.


How to Capture Site Reality with DroneDeploy

Through the DroneDeploy Ground Robotics platform, robots like Spot, equipped with 360 cameras, capture footage of buildings and job sites entirely autonomously. These missions can be scheduled in advance for repeated and consistent data capture. And because visuals are captured from the same angles and route every time, companies can rely on a clear and consistent record of progress.

This data is then uploaded to DroneDeploy, generating detailed and high-definition 360 Walkthroughs. These Walkthroughs are easily shareable with employees, clients, and stakeholders online. If an issue needs fixing, it can be annotated within the 360 Walkthrough and assigned to the appropriate employee, speeding up issue resolution and reducing potential rework. And with the embedded integrations of Procore and BIM 360, generated issues are automatically sent to the project management system for immediate action.

By combining aerial data capture from drones with the exciting new capabilities of ground robots, construction companies can reap the benefits of an all-in-one reality capture platform. This saves time and costs, provides a reliable and continuous picture of progress, keeps an audit trail of completed work, and helps to speed up issue resolution.

To learn more about ground robots in construction, read our eBook "How Robotic Automation is Transforming the Construction Industry", or contact us to learn more.

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