The flying surveyor: Civdrone speeds construction surveying

I started out my career as a civil engineer, and at the time I graduated (late 1970s), students had to take two semesters of surveying classes. For civil engineering projects, it’s often necessary to track how earth is being moved, and up until this time that’s required the labor-intensive work of land surveyors to measure elevations above or below a baseline (usually sea level) at precise points on the ground. An Israeli startup, Civdrone, wants to automate that process with a device that can be attached to commercially-available drones.

Civdrone’s device and software allow a drone to survey the land using its GPS system, then land and drive survey stakes into the soil without needing to send out a survey team. The survey stakes are marked with a QR code that can be read by the construction team, giving them data and instructions. (Video embedded below: if it doesn’t appear, reload the web page)

Civdrone co-founder Tom Yeshurun says that “A single drone and its operator can replace up to four teams a day,” and he added that drones can also work at night without good lighting. Many human land surveyors are sitting in bars by that point…

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