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Construction site patrol times reduced 90% with automated aerial robotics.

Background

Founded in 1892 with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, Obayashi is a global construction company that focuses on regional development, urban development, ocean development, environmental improvement, engineering, consulting and real-estate management.

NTT Communications is a long-time partner of the Obayashi Corporation helping to test and implement drone technology for their construction site processes.

Challenge

Obayashi has multiple projects occurring at any given time at many different sites.

The traditional process was manual, time-consuming, repetitive, with each manual inspection taking about one hour to complete and then another hour to analyze. They were also challenged to do the work with fewer resources and an aging workforce.

Obayashi had tried using drones for outdoors construction sites, but due to the technological limitations at the time, the flights required pilots to maneuver around the complex environments. Additionally, a visual observer was needed for this process, requiring extra resources.

Skydio-S2plus-inspecting-obayashi-construction-site-progress-2

Skydio Solution

NTT Communications and Obayashi deployed Skydio Dock and Remote Ops with Skydio drones to conduct unmanned drone patrols for monitoring and recording of indoor construction site progress. The drones’s autonomous intelligence and small drone size consistently navigated within the complex indoor construction site environment. Skydio Dock and Remote Ops software worked seamlessly to send the Skydio 2+ out on scheduled automated site patrols.

Over the course of a three month test phase, 56 inspection missions were conducted with remarkable results.

Skydio S2plus inspecting obayashi construction site progress

Results

The test phase showed a significant reduction in required time from one hour to a mere ten minutes, one-sixth of the time required by conventional methods.

The autonomous, remotely operated, and dock-based Skydio systems were able to conduct pre-planned missions safely and securely from remote locations with automatic takeoff/landing and automatic power recharging. NTT Communications and Obayashi succeeded in made the entire process of indoor construction site monitoring and management more efficient as they were able to:

  • Reduce the time and effort required to go back and forth between the construction site and office.

  • Enable construction managers and other personnel to safely access and check the construction progress through real-time video streaming function.

I’m very excited about the prospect of remote operations. Up to now, in the field, when you had to check something you had to physically move from the field office to the site in question. By using the Dock we can fly the drone remotely at the location in very little time. It’s truly wonderful to be able to use a drone at any time.

Hideyuki Horiuchi, General Manager, Digital Transformation Division Obayashi Corporation

Ongoing Results

Next, Obayashi Corporation and NTT will start full-scale operation across their construction sites. That will include Skydio 3D Scan technology to create 3D point cloud data and 3D models. With the automated drone site inspections, seamless cloud connectivity for data storage, and digital models of construction sites, Obayashi is creating sophisticated construction processes for more efficient and safer operations.

Skydio S2+ deployed inspecting construction site

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