Foster + Partners and BeTomorrow exploring use of drones to autonomously map building construction

Foster + Partners is working with Be Tomorrow UK, the UK arm of a leading autonomous drone software developer, to develop a drone-based solution to accurately detect clashes and potential snagging issues on construction sites.

The project aims to create a reliable and cost-effective system that can map construction sites and help compare the as-built environment with the proposed design on a continuous basis, thereby eliminating potentially expensive construction errors and delays. Such a service will offer significant benefits to the construction industry, helping lower overall project costs and risk, while increasing quality and client confidence, for a relatively small investment.

Developing this solution involves overcoming several technical challenges, the most significant being the development of a suitable autonomous mapping solution that works in the complex and demanding environment of a live construction site. The objective is to build a working prototype for this service that can be used to demonstrate its potential for large-scale projects.

This project will build on BeTomorrow’s drone related work since 2007, as well as Foster + Partners’ innovative approach to BIM and construction management. The research and development has been co-funded by a grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate-UK.

Notes to editors:

SLAMBE project has received funding from the UK Technology Strategy Board InnovateUK programme under grant agreement No. 102911.

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. For further information visit www.innovateuk.gov.uk

BeTomorrow’s focus is on employing the latest sensors and algorithms to enable drones to carry out very specialised tasks autonomously.