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Construction Drone Buyer’s Guide: 8 Things To Consider

Construction drone is revolutionizing the industry, allowing construction firms to cut costs, save time, minimize risks, ensure accuracy, improve communication, and work more efficiently. Drones can improve construction at every stage of the project lifecycle, from preconstruction mapping to worksite inspections to promotional photography.

When it comes to purchasing drones, building companies and equipment managers need to know what to look for when making a drone purchase, thanks to a 239 percent increase between 2017 and 2018. The following are nine things to look for when you’re buying a drone for construction:

Amount of Payload and Modularity

Infrared, LIDAR, and thermal sensors, for example, require a drone that can  carry a lot of weight. Additionally, a modular payload design is required for drone attachments. For example, adding inertial motion  units to your drone allows you to fly under a variety of conditions.

Level of Technology

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Spare Parts & Batteries

Your drone is going to crash. Batteries do not last indefinitely. These facts  should help you make  purchasing decisions. It’s best to buy drones from local stores that can guarantee quick repairs and  replacements, as well as plenty of spare parts for DIY repairs.

 

This ensures that your operations aren’t disrupted unnecessarily if the drone  suffers damage. Similarly, make sure you have plenty of batteries on hand, or – if you’re willing to pay more up front – invest in a drone with longer-lasting batteries, which will allow you to keep your drone in the air for longer.

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Camera Quality

Drone video and photography is a huge benefit to construction firms, from    on-site measurements to workforce monitoring to structural inspections to security surveillance to  marketing materials, making camera quality a must. 

Make sure your camera has a minimum of a 24mm focal length – we recommend 35mm – to ensure you get high-quality images with more details and the ability to generate 3D renderings. Similarly, your camera should have a megapixel count of at least 10 if not 20 or  higher.

Your camera should be able to shoot video at 1080p for true cinematic quality, and you might want to consider a drone with a Gimbal stabilizer to reduce shakiness in your footage.

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Insurance

Understanding that crashing is a major risk for drones, you might want to see if your model qualifies for drone insurance. This protects you from having to pay  the full cost of a lost drone, as well as providing financial protection if your drone crashes and causes damage to people or property.

You should at the very least consider purchasing the manufacturer’s warranties for your drone and any  relevant equipment such as cameras and sensors.

Flexibility

Don’t get too tied to a single construction drone brand or model; instead,  consider acquiring a fleet with a variety of capabilities. 

There are a plethora of options available that could benefit your workplace, as well as a plethora of new  updates and models that you don’t want to overlook. If you can only afford one drone to begin with, try  to get one that can be used for a variety of tasks.

Durability

It is very likely that your drone will crash at some point, especially if you’re a beginner drone pilot,  which is why newbie drone pilots should buy drones that they can afford to lose. If you spend a lot of  money on your first drone, you might be hesitant to use it, making it a useless construction tool.

It could be best for your first drone to be a cheaper, introductory aircraft, with the understanding that once you are comfortable with the technology, a more advanced drone will serve you much more effectively. At the same time, keep in mind that your worksite will also have dust, debris, and other rough conditions, so any drone you buy from your first drone to your last should be tough and durable enough to maintain a regular on-site workload.

Fixed Wing or Rotor

Drones generally take off and change direction using a set of helicopter-like rotary blades or fixed wings that function similarly to airplanes.

Fixed-wing drones can fly higher, further, and faster than rotor drones, have more stability, and are less likely to be damaged if they crash because their wings allow them to glide to the ground in the event of a mechanical failure. Fixed-wing drones are ideal for mapping topography or surveying large areas of land because of these advantages.

Fixed-wing drones, on the other hand, are more expensive, more difficult to operate, and require space  for a take-off/landing runway strip – plus, due to federal regulations, you must keep them within visual range, so you can’t fully exploit their distance-traveling potential.

There is no need for a runway strip because they take off and land vertically.  Because rotor drones can  hover in one spot, they’re ideal for closer inspections, measurements, and photography. However, keep in mind that rotor drones have a shorter range, are less stable in the wind, and are more likely to cause  damage if they crash, as mechanical failure will almost certainly result in them landing on the ground.

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