Caterpillar Believes Drones Are the Future of Construction


Leading players in the heavy machinery sector are betting on the use of drones as a productivity enhancement tool for construction sites.

Heavy machinery giant Caterpillar expects aerial surveillance technology in tandem with data analytics to drive dramatic gains in efficiency and productivity on construction sites.

The company recently entered a partnership with drone analytics startup Redbird to investigate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) for the collection of visual data in relation to site operations.

The partnership will explore the use of drones for the real-time tracking of inventories, project schedules and machine diagnostics from an aerial perspective, with one of its first projects focusing on the use of UAV’s to achieve haul road optimisation on mining projects.

Caterpilllar believes that Redbird’s signature red and black copters can enhance the management of vehicle fleets by gathering a trove of real-time visual data on machines while they’re active in the field, and converting this imagery into information on their precise location, progress speed, fuel consumption and idle time.

A Redbird drone is capable of conducting a complete surveillance of a 30 acreconstruction site within 20 minutes, and incorporating the aerial imagery it gathers into pre-existing data management platforms like Caterpillar’s VisionLink.

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