Flying High – Reasons to use TrueLook’s new drone service

Construction Drone

As a user of TrueLook’s construction cameras, you know the value of clear, consistent images and video for managing, monitoring and communicating jobsite progress. Adding an HD-camera-equipped drone — known officially as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV – lets you capture high-quality images and video from almost any perspective, giving you wider capabilities that boost the efficiencies of your time-lapse fixed cameras.

Inspections from any height – and in the heaviest traffic

UAVs allow close inspection of structures that would be harder, riskier and more expensive to perform any other way. High-rises, bridges and utility towers can be easily viewed without putting workers at risk. Using a drone also eliminates the setup and equipment rental costs and the project-owner liability inherent in manual inspections. Projects can move along much faster as a result.

One Dallas-based construction company reported saving thousands of equipment-rental dollars and a full 2 weeks of valuable project time when using a UAV to inspect a building façade for a warranty claim. In Minnesota, state DOT officials are now evaluating drones for routine highway inspections – which would eliminate lane closures and safety risks for road crews.

Monitoring the whole jobsite in detail

Drones can extend the documentation of construction activities to every square foot of your jobsite. Using a UAV, you can keep close watch over stockpiles, construction materials and ongoing work outside the view of your TrueLook fixed or PTZ cameras. Hovering capabilities allow you to view details up close that would otherwise require a second camera.

How the TrueLook drone system works

TrueLook has a nationwide network of qualified drone pilots on call, ready to photograph your jobsite. The process begins with a call to your TrueLook sales representative, who will discuss your specific needs with you. We will help you line out the best frequency and duration of flights to document the details and areas of interest and assist you in scheduling drone missions.

On the day of the mission, a professional pilot will fly a quadcopter equipped with HD cameras to take 4k photographs and 1080p video, capturing aerial images and video of your project.

Each UAV mission delivers at least 20 high-resolution aerial images plus an edited video of the flight. The results are available automatically through your TrueLook app within a couple of business days.

DIY? Or work with us?

With interest in drone technology so high right now, many builders are considering purchasing their own. However, there are several issues to weigh before making that commitment.

Beyond the investment in quadcopters, cameras and maintenance, and the burden of figuring out which technology, features and price point are right for your needs, there are even more considerations. For example, you need to think about legal issues. UAVs can only be flown for commercial purposes when the Federal Aviation Administration has given explicit consent. The certification process is slow, with applications already backlogged for months.

Also, you’ll need to appoint and train an in-house expert. FAA rules on unmanned commercial flights currently require a pilot and/or spotter with a clear line of sight to the UAV. Unmanned, autonomous drone activity rules will not be in place until 2017 at the very earliest. So companies that want to fly their own drones will need to dedicate a staff member to learn the drone’s functioning inside and out so it can be used safely and effectively.

Then there’s the issue of insurance. Since this is such a new field, lack of actuarial data is making insurance expensive. Drones and drone activity do not typically fit under comprehensive general liability policies. They require some custom risk management solutions, both from the insurance carrier and in construction contracts.

Image and video handling is another major consideration. Unless you have the business processes and technology in place to edit, archive and share everything your UAV captures, you won’t gain the end benefits you’re looking for.

TrueLook’s UAV service simplifies the entire process for you. You can get started right away, without the hurdles of insurance and FAA certification. Our pilots are insured and FAA-approved to fly for commercial purposes, with all current certifications in place.

Each pilot is vetted for professionalism and bound by strict safety guidelines. The UAV equipment they use is up-to-date and properly maintained. And as a current TrueLook customer, you can easily view and distribute your media through the TrueLook app that you’re already using.

Our drone service provides a simple, cost-effective way to add aerial photography and videography to your project documentation. Please contact your TrueLook sales representative to learn more about how our aerial drone media service can work for you.