How to Save Time and Improve Safety with Drones

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by Alexandra Gajeski, Marketing Team
on Feb 06, 2018

These days, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or more commonly, drones, are not just for photographers and hobbyists.

Today, they are quickly becoming a part of the commercial world. They are a prominent tool for many in several different industries, ranging from agriculture and law enforcement to construction—including general contractors and specialty subcontractors, like roofers.

Drones are here, helping businesses save time and money, keeping their employees safe, and providing them with accurate information to better their business.

Sound enticing? We think so too. However, before you think of adding a drone into your business plan, there are a few things you need to know.

Want to start using a drone for your business? Here’s how:

Part 107

To use a drone for commercial purposes you (or your designated pilot) will need to obtain a remote pilot certificate in accordance with the FAA regulations under Part 107, by taking an exam, and once passing, completing the FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application.

FAA Rules to Keep in Mind

There are rules set by the FAA that you must follow and keep in mind when flying. We’ve listed a few below:

  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 pounds, including payload, at takeoff
  • Fly at or below 400 ft above ground level, if flying at an altitude higher than 400 ft, you must stay within 400 ft of a structure
  • Keep your drone within your visual line of sight
  • Fly during daylight or civil twilight hours

Which Drone is right for you?

You’ll need to find the right drone for you. First consider the three categories of drones there are: fixed wing, single rotor, and multirotor.

Each one is going to have its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Botlink supports both fixed wing and multirotor drones, favoring multirotor drones for construction. Particularly, here at Botlink, we suggest using DJI’s Phantom 4 for all construction needs, but the decision is ultimately up to you.

Increase your number of inspections, while improving safety and efficiency on the job site. Photo via unspalsh.com

How to Save Time and Money Using Drones as a Roofing Contractor

Now that you have the basics, you’re probably wondering what a drone could do for you, as a roofing contractor? Well, roofing contractors are looking to innovations in technology to improve safety, accuracy, and time on job sites.

Using drone technology and software, you can improve your estimating processes and excel your business by:

Improving Safety

The safety of your employees is your top concern. Using a drone minimizes the need for anyone to physically climb onto a roof, keeping you and your employees safe from falling and improving safety.

Saving Time and Money

A typical roofing measurement lasts more than an hour. Automating the process with drone technology and our Botlink software reduces inspection time to 20 minutes, allowing you time for more estimating calls.  

Protecting Your Company

Survey your job site using high resolution images to identify entry and exit points and obstacles and determine location to store material. Show your customer the condition of the roof and document existing damage to protect yourself from potential issues.

Achieving Automated, Accurate Measurements

Generic satellite imagery uses outdated photos that can be more than 30 days old. Images captured are uploaded in real-time and immediately available to review data. Receive a personalized report, high quality images, 3D renderings with dimensions for even the most detailed areas, including overhangs to improve your estimates and minimize material waste.

Impressing Your Customers

Set your company apart from the competition and impress potential customers with before and after videos, high resolution images and educational videos. Use the images captured when presenting your findings to highlight problem areas.

View job site progress, add comments or plan material storage with aerial imagery.

What Software Features do I need to Improve Safety and Save Time?

Botlink, an automated flight and analytics software, supports many construction operations, including:

  • Project management
  • Inspection
  • Volumetrics
  • Surveying  
  • Marketing

Botlink enables construction professionals working in these areas to create high definition maps, turn 2D images into 3D models, and generate terrain models of their job sites.

Botlink allows you to quickly capture this data and images, distribute them to construction management tools, and respond to changing conditions on demand. Essentially, Botlink makes the job easy.

To show you how easy it really is, check out our demo video.

Botlink Capture

With the touch of a finger you can plan and automate your flight from takeoff to landing. Pause and resume flights with a tap, track flight progress and monitor your drone. The Botlink Capture app automatically captures still photos for 2D and 3D models.

Aerial maps

Photo stitch aerial images into a single, high-definition map to see your entire job site.

3D Models

Use drone flight data to turn aerial 2D photos into 3D models. You can use these models while discussing your project with your customers, or share them with your marketing team to set your company apart from the competition.

Terrain Models

Digital Surface and 3D models identify high and low points or drainage problems.

Volumetrics

Assess the size and value of your resources using our pile measurement tool. Discover accurate area, distance and volume data with the click of a button.

Orbit

Use to take pictures of your job site. Images are captured around the entire perimeter. And can be used to survey the job site, identifying entry and exit points, obstacles, and determining where to store material.

Overhead Measurement

Get accurate measurements in a custom report sent directly to you.

Once you’ve flown the property from above and in Orbit mode, using our Overhead Measurement Tool, you’ll receive 3D analytics report that gives you a 99% accuracy rate of the roof measurements.

Our Overhead Measurement Report uses flight images and data to automatically calculate all roof dimensions needed for accurate estimates.

Contact us for a sample roof report here.

Dimensions documented in the report include:

  • Surface Area
  • Perimeter
  • Slope
  • Pitch
  • Edge measurements

Ready to see how your business can save time and improve safety? Schedule a demo today

Author

Alexandra Gajeski

Marketing Team

Alexandra joined the Botlink team in October of 2017. She plays volleyball, teaches art classes, and hopes to travel the world someday!

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