Flying Torch Drones To Help Construction Sector Beat Dark Nights?

Silhouette of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAV) Quadcopter Drone In

As winter draws ever closer, the days get shorter and the nights get longer – which means that people who work outside routinely have far less time to get the job done before darkness falls.

But for those in the construction sector making good use of timber frame manufacturers, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel in the form of flying torch drones that could make companies more productive at this time of year.

New research from Direct Line for Business has revealed that construction companies in the UK lose up to £265 million each year because of the lack of light in winter, which stops people from working after a point.

In 2016, employees worked an average of 37.9 hours a week in the summer but peaked at 37.2 hours a week between October and March. This means that 20 hours and 22 minutes of working time was lost over the winter per member of staff – almost three days’ work.

Head of Direct Line for Business Matt Boatwright explained that businesses in the UK have always been restricted with regards to working hours by light quality or poor weather conditions.

“New innovations, such as Fleetlights, which is a prototype service that uses a fleet of flying torch drones, responsive to movement and controlled via a bespoke app, could potentially make the construction industry more productive.

“Just a few minutes’ extra work per day can have a positive impact on a project, and without the burden of poor light, the construction industry could complete contracts faster and increase their business’ earning potential as a result,” he went on to say.

Direct Line has now given its Fleetlight drones and technology to the Caister Lifeboat Association so it can be used in rescue situations in real life. Caister – one of the only offshore lifeboats independent of the RNLI here in the UK – has found that their rescue missions have been limited by visibility… but the drones can enhance vision by day and night to help ensure more rescues end happily.

And the construction industry could soon benefit in a similar way if they too choose to make use of Fleetlight and the drones now on offer. All you need to do is request a Fleetlight using the accompanying app and then an available drone will be dispatched. These can then be dismissed at any time just with a single tap on your smartphone or other device.

It’s currently a beta service, but the ultimate aim is to improve road safety and human utility, stopping problems before they even happen. You could even use the drones to help you get home safely after a long night on the construction site – simply tap your phone, call a drone and then use the light to help you walking along in the darkness. You could even use the service if you’re driving your car along dark little country lanes.


Leave a Reply