We’re excited to share that 3DR CEO, Chris Anderson, has published the feature story in the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review. His story, Drones Go To Work, charts the rise of the drone economy, and explains how they have quickly matured into an enterprise-ready technology that’s being used in construction, engineering, and more.
Here’s an excerpt: “The drone economy is real, and you need a strategy for exploiting it. Here’s how to think about what’s happening—and what’s going to happen. We’ll start back at the construction site, a work environment in desperate need of what drones can provide.
The construction industry is the world’s second largest (after agriculture), worth $8 trillion a year. But it’s remarkably inefficient. The typical commercial construction project runs 80% over budget and 20 months behind schedule, according to McKinsey.
On-screen, in the architect’s CAD file, everything looks perfect. But on-site, in the mud and dust, things are different. And the difference between concept and reality is where about $3 trillion of that $8 trillion gets lost, in a cascade of change orders, rework, and schedule slips. Drones are meant to close that gap.
Mistakes, changes, and surprises are unavoidable whenever idealized designs meet the real world. But they can be minimized by spotting clashes early enough to fix them, work around them, or least update the CAD model to reflect changes for future work. There are lots of ways to measure a construction site, ranging from tape measures and clipboards to lasers, high-precision GPS, and even X-rays. But they all cost money and take time, so they’re not done often, at least not over the entire site. With drones, a whole site can be mapped daily, in high detail, for as little as $25 a day.”