International Construction Firm Balfour Beatty Considering Drone Workers

large_2688582584Technology Advice – by Cameron Graham

Most people associate drones with military and counter-terrorism programs, but Balfour Beatty CIO Danny Reeves wants to use them for a rather different purpose. Speaking at the Fujitsu Forum, he told Techworld that unmanned aerial vehicles could be used to build walls, and improve project efficiency.

Balfour Beatty is a international construction and engineering firm that specializes in large-scale projects and building management. Their revenue for 2012 was approximately $17 billion, with an operating income of just under $500 million, so presumably they have the resources to commission a fleet of construction drones. Reeves also spoke of the potential for drones to monitor sprawling project sites, hopefully reducing communication errors and wasted labor on large sites.  

In addition to adding drones to its workforce, Balfour Beatty is exploring the possibility of incorporating “body area networks” into its work-sites. Such networks consist of wearable tech devices that monitor various bodily functions such as heart rate, stress levels, and hydration. For companies, the idea is that such networks could alert management when individual workers stress or fatigue levels make them ineffective on the job, or even a danger to themselves and others.

Reeves is scheduled to travel to Fujitsu’s Japanese headquarters later this month in order to discuss implementing such technology. If his ideas indeed become reality, he might just change the nature of large-scale construction across the globe.

photo credit: ecstaticist via photopin cc

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About Cameron Graham

Born in Alaska, Cameron is now a resident of Nashville, TN. He graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South with a degree in English and Political Science. He enjoys following emerging technology and its impact on business. Follow Cameron on Google+, or email him with any questions or comments.

3 thoughts on “International Construction Firm Balfour Beatty Considering Drone Workers

  1. Remember the drones replacing the broken window pane in Star Wars episode 2? I expect people like Reeves to want to replace all laborers with drones/robots. One drone/robot would cost far less than a lifetime salary and pension. The Masonic elite will have the luxury of everything and the rest of humanity will live in squallier like the people of Gaza

    1. Huey, Dewey and Louie.

      The drones in “Running Silent” with Bruce Dern. They were still taking care of the last of Earth’s forest long after he was killed.

      Good movie, but kinda slow.

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