Construction on Kings Stadium Monitored by Drones | Athletic Business

Construction on Kings Stadium Monitored by Drones

Airborne eyes in the sky are becoming a reality in Sacramento. Aerial drones are tracking construction progress on the new stadium being built in Sacramento for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

The drones have been outfitted with software that allows construction managers to track how the project is progressing, and which areas are falling behind schedule.

Once each day, the drones patrol the worksite in Sacramento and collect video. That video is then converted into a three-dimensional image of the site and fed into the software, which compares the actual progress shown on the video to architectural and construction work plans, highlighting construction delays.

Mani Golparvar-Fard, an assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Illinois helped to develop the software along with several colleagues.

“We highlight at-risk locations on a site, where the probability of having an issue is really high,” Golparvar-Fard says. “We can understand why deviations are happening, and we can see where efficiency improvements are made.”

The technology has the potential to save the construction industry billions of dollars each year, but it isn’t without drawbacks. The additional attention on workers is controversial, raising concerns over worker privacy, and fears that workers may be encouraged to work excessively long hours.

However, according to Golparvar-Fard, this kind of observation at construction sites has been going on for a long time.

“It’s not new to the construction industry that there would either be people standing and observing operations, or that there would be a fixed camera,” he says.

Lincoln Wood, regional manager for virtual design and construction at Turner Construction, the firm running the Sacramento project, says that monitoring progress is a common practice; the scope that the software provides is more comprehensive.

“The nice thing about it is that it’s showing all tasks in an area, so people are seeing the global impact,” Wood says.

The team from the University of Illinois is currently testing a system where drones attach cameras to locations across a worksite, giving managers a continuous look at progress. Eventually, through categorization of the videos, construction managers will be able to break down tasks on an individual level, leading to even more questions about surveillance and privacy.


{module Construction Drones}

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