There is absolutely no doubt that drones offer a high ROI for the construction industry. But the notoriously traditionalist sector has been slower than others to adopt them on worksites. Now global drone leader DJI and commercial drone data company Skycatch have scored a deal to deliver 1,000 high-precision uav’s to construction giant Komatsu.

It’s a big step forward for the commercial application of uav. “This represents the largest commercial drone order in history,” says DJI. “Each drone is manufactured by DJI and outfitted with specialized Skycatch technology, and is the first time DJI has manufactured a custom drone for a partner.”

Komatsu has been out in front of a push to innovate in the construction sector. Far beyond dumptrucks and excavators, Komatsu is developing unmanned and autonomous vehicles for remote operation in dangerous terrain. They are introducing technology to allow machines to tackle skilled operations with minimal driver input. They are working on connecting machine operators and project managers, providing data on jobsite conditions and equipment. Drones are a logical area to pursue.

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