Today, drones are delivering packages and spraying pesticides in agricultural fields. Drones also continue to play an ever increasing role in the construction and real estate industries. Having direct access to aerial photography is proving to be a valuable asset to contractors and developers. In the past, an actual fly over from an aerial photo company was required which was costly. Now companies can invest in a drone for the price of a few manned fly overs.
Bradford bought its first drone in 2013 as a trial run. The unit was a styrofoam body with four small propellers. Camera footage was less than ideal and the unit was difficult to operate, especially in windy conditions. That trial run met an unfortunate ending with an HVAC unit on a shopping center roof…
Since then we have invested in the DJI Phantom series of drones. (http://www.dji.com/phantom-4-pro). The latest Phantom 4 features 28 minutes of flight time, speeds up to 45mph, and max [unobstructed] transmission range of 4 miles. The 20megapixel camera produces amazing footage. The 5-direction obstacle sensor system and GPS “return to home” features make piloting the drone all that easier and safer. The technology and capability of drones continues to advance rapidly.
We have used our drones both for aerials and inspection purposes. Developers can provide tenants with photos of potential properties, construction progress, as well as intersection and traffic views. Roofs can be scanned and upper windows inspected. Flying a drone to the third floor to get a closer look at an exterior wall is much easier than getting a man lift onsite. The drone footage also makes an excellent marketing tool for completed developments.
Bradford is always looking for ways to improve and use technology to our benefit, and ultimately the benefit of our clients. Who knows…one day we may deliver materials via drone.