Drones and the digital transformation of the built environment were in focus at a recent forum for industry and researchers at RMIT's European hub in Barcelona.
Dr Alex Fisher from the RMIT Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research Team presented at the forum called The future of drones in design and construction, which featured speakers from related industry and research institutions across Europe.
These ranged from droneFUTURA's Marc Viader, Noumena and IAAC's Aldo Sollazzo, the University of Catalunya's Alberto Sanfeliu and Ferrovial's Luis Moratinos, with whom RMIT researchers are currently collaborating on a project to deliver drone technology to improve construction site safety in Australia.
The Australian Ambassador to Spain Timothy Kane also spoke at the event, covering some of Australia's upcoming major infrastructure projects and the opportunities for Australia/Spain collaboration.
RMIT Europe Executive Director Marta Fernandez said the forum provided an opportunity to connect with drone developers and designers right through to the end users of drones, such as construction and design contractors.
"As a group we explored challenges surrounding the use of drones and data-driven technology for design and construction and came up with several conclusions and recommendations.
"The first is that there is a rapid growth in business and research for drone technology across design and construction in addition to other fields such as urban planning, environmental monitoring and land management.
"The second is around the significant technical challenges that drones can pose, including reliability and accuracy, as well as non-technical challenges, such as regulation and public acceptance – which open the door to devising creative solutions and approaches.
"And finally, there was a real focus on the consideration of human/robot interaction – the idea that citizens must remain engaged across any sort of technology development."
Fernandez said RMIT Europe is looking forward to further exploring some of the challenges and opportunities presented at the forum with its European partners.
Read the event report: The future of drones in design and construction
Story: Karen Matthews