- General Electric and the German drone manufacturer Microdrones have announced a worldwide license agreement launch GE’s industrial drone line.
- The agreement, which marks GE’s first step into the unmanned aerial vehicle sector, will accelerate Microdrones’ use of surveying equipment for creating digital twins, digital terrain models and maps.
- The industrial drone line is manufactured at Microdrones’ facility in Siegen, Germany and is sold and supported worldwide, according to a press release.
The pandemic increased the need to accurately track site progress as restrictions limited the number of people allowed on site at one time and the use of drones on projects does not appear to be lessening. The number of users and drone flights has increased according to a. almost doubled in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period of the previous year Study published by DroneDeploy.
Agriculture and energy appear to be making up the largest share of the increase in drone use, but the construction sector has also seen gains. According to the report, the industry saw a 16% quarterly increase in flights and a 5% increase in users.
Although the use of UAVs is increasing, the use of drones to collect data and images has been a relatively common practice among large contractors for several years. Contractors like PCL and Windover Use unmanned aerial vehicles to take pictures or scans of construction sites which can then be used to compare BIM models to the reality of the construction site.
Drones could also help shorten the time between construction phases, as inspections could increase take place virtually or via drone material.
In addition to the new partnership, GE has invested in Microdrones’ parent company, mdGroup, and a representative from GE has joined the board of directors of mdGroup as an observer, according to the announcement.
Microdrones was founded in 2005 and emerged from a collaboration between a German drone inventor and a North American software developer. The company markets its quadcopter drones with LiDAR technology for image capture in industries such as construction.