Drones – a safer insight?
Like every industry, improvements in technology are an absolute must. Surveying is no different. At our annual Engagement Day back in January, Paul Singleton took us on a journey of the company history from 1997 to today. Weaved within this were throwbacks to days gone by and the equipment (or tech!) that was widely utilised by us and our other survey friends when out on site.
The odd shudder, laugh and grimace were present on some of the faces of our team who have been with us for many years – no doubt bringing back memories of heavy back packs, dialling codes in via walkie talkies and dashing for the umbrella when it rained, to help protect the equipment more than themselves!!
So, like all new tech, new ways of working come sweeping in and before long the way we used to do things are seen as out of date, slow and not what is needed. Not quite the case when it comes to drones though. Advantages over traditional types of survey? Absolutely. A great add-on to work alongside other types of survey? Completely. A wider suite of survey data and detail? Totally. The beginning of the end for the total station and laser scanner? I don’t think so.
Drones without doubt are a great option and we have seen an ever-increasing number of enquiries and projects where drone surveys are the perfect solution. As always, it depends on the project, but drones survey places people should not go. Roof tops, unsafe and inaccessible areas of large sites such as railway lines, landfill and quarries. And of course, when compared to a more traditional style of survey, drones can survey vast areas of land quickly and eliminate the need, as we saw on a recent project at the University of Essex, to work at height and hire in specialist equipment.
It can also be the case that clients may not want people for too long on their site. Permits, supervision, additional health and safety assessments as well as the potential impact on other members of the public can mean that some projects just want the on-site bit done quickly and safely. A massive tick for drones. Consider as well that a drone project can pretty much be undertaken alongside other works being carried out on site which reduces the need for total or partial closure to let us do our bit.
And, do not forget the range of data which a drone can capture. Lots of add-on options are available. Flyovers, video footage and aerial photography can all be included in your drone project. It is certainly worth having a chat with us to see how this can work for your next project.