In the past year, the federal government has been scrambling to make regulations, as more UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) have started taking flight in industries such as construction. Also known as UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles), quadcopters, or more simply drones, these flying devices cause challenges due to the fact the U.S., has very busy airspace. However, the future looks bright for construction, with new regulations announced earlier this year.
In February, the Dept. of Transportation’s FAA (Federal Aviation Admin.) proposed a new framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations. Additionally, in May, the FAA announced a partnership with industry to explore the next steps in unmanned aircraft operations beyond the type of operations the agency proposed in the draft of rules it published.
What does all this mean for construction? Drones are available today, and can offer big value to the construction industry.
The most obvious benefit of using drones on the construction jobsite is snapping progress shots of the project to be able to present to the project owner. Using these devices saves a significant amount of money, compared to the helicopter fly-overs that had to be performed in the past.
However, these flying vehicles can do much more than just take a photo. The robots can collect data and even potentially do manual labor in the future. But with data collection comes the concern of hackings and cybersecurity.
While construction companies are beginning to explore the benefits of drones, many might not have considered the impact drones will have on cybersecurity within the company, which is why we plan to explore this topic at our upcoming Constructech Technology Day conference on August 27 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Schaumburg, Ill.
We have invited Scott Schober, CEO & cybersecurity expert, Berkeley Varitronics Systems, to join us to discuss the biggest security considerations for drones on construction jobsites, as one drone takes flight.
The topic of drones in construction will be one that continues to be explored in many companies in the years ahead, as the true value and benefits continue to be identified and the regulations become more defined. For now, however, construction companies need to find the best way to move forward with these flying robots today to prepare for tomorrow.
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