The increasing use of drones in construction is bringing a wide range of benefits, although current usage is broadly limited to surveying, developing topographical maps of sites and general resource calculation. However, watch this space: some companies are exploring whether drones can be used instead of cranes and scaffolding! If we can pull this off as an industry it will go some way to improving productivity and may even take some pressure off the labour shortage.
That said, to really be a hit (as well as covering off the obvious health and safety issues), the industry needs to think about what else drones could offer. Everybody is talking about superdrones capable of heavy lifting; but how about minidrones at the opposite end of the spectrum? These could work behind the scenes within structures (even within pipework), find and even fix issues!
Large or small, if drones could start being more than just visual aids, perhaps they could be linked with BIM technology and be programmed to autonomously rectify defects? That would take smart buildings to another level.
Drone pilots could become a sought after career and each major project may need one in the not too distant future.
It's not quite on a par with the Targaryen dragons but the future of drones in construction could be quite something.
Those companies that are already adopting drones are reaping the benefits and making smart decisions that were not possible before.