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Company’s drone venture may help building industry

SINGAPORE — Imagine flying drones over construction sites and using the recorded aerial footage to produce 3D maps for reference, reducing days of ground-based site surveys to mere hours.

SINGAPORE — Imagine flying drones over construction sites and using the recorded aerial footage to produce 3D maps for reference, reducing days of ground-based site surveys to mere hours.

This could be the new future for the construction industry, if the founder of home-grown company Avetics Global, Mr Zhang Wei Liang, had his way.

The use of drones could boost safety levels in an industry known for its high number of workplace fatalities. “Instead of having a worker climb scaffolding for inspection, you can just use a drone,” said Mr Zhang.

And for big-scale projects, where companies might hire helicopters — costing up to S$8,000 — to take aerial photographs of their worksite, and get an update on the building progress, these drones could do the same at half the cost, said Mr Zhang, who was exhibiting at a booth at Buildtech Asia.

It could even be used to police safety lapses, he added. For instance, the drone camera can tell from the thermal heat emitting from one’s head that he is not wearing a safety helmet. This would allow the authorities to conduct spot checks more effectively, said Mr Zhang.

The businessman decided to venture into drone imagery for the construction industry three months ago, upon realising there might be a market for such services. To date, two multinational corporations have come on board.

“Foreign companies are more open to it because they might have come across the usage of drones in other countries. Local small and medium enterprises have high inertia, perhaps because they prefer old ways,” he said.

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