Our Research

Drone Technology for AECO Applications

The construction industry lags behind many others in the rate of adoption of cutting-edge technologies. In the area of safety management, this is more so. Many advances in information technology could provide great benefits to this important aspect of construction operations. Innovative use of these tools could result in safer jobsites. In our studies, small-scale aerial drones are used as tools for exploring potential benefits to safety managers within construction jobsites. The drones used in our research are aerial quad-copters that can be piloted remotely using a smartphone, tablet device, radio control or a computer. Since the drones are equipped with video cameras, they can provide safety managers and others on site with fast access to images as well as real-time videos from a range of locations around the jobsite. An expert analysis (heuristic evaluation), as well as a user participation analysis approach, are used to determine the features of an ideal safety inspection drone. Our team has performed laboratory and field tests in various locations and project types. Research in ongoing and results are disseminated on a regular basis. Visit the publications section of our site to learn more about the results of our research.

Example Projects:

Development of Drone-Assisted Profile Mapping: Near Surface Void Detection Application
Sponsor: Georgia Department of Transportation

Development of Drone-Assisted Highway Mowing Operations Planning, Monitoring, and Verification Capabilities
Sponsor: Georgia Department of Transportation

Palledrone: Unmanned Aerial System Solution for Last-Mile Logistics Applications
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense

Rotor-X: Heavy-Lift Drone Technology Development
Sponsor: Georgia Research Alliance

Novel Unmanned Aerial System Sensor Applications in the Built Environment
Sponsor: College of Desing, Georgia Tech

Field Test based Guidelines Development for the Integration of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in GDOT Operations
Sponsor: Georgia Department of Transportation

Evaluation of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in Construction Progress Monitoring Applications: A Case Study of the City of Atlanta Water Supply Program
Sponsor: PC Russell Company

Evaluation of Unmanned Aerial Systems in Construction Safety Applications: A Case Study at Unilever Manufacturing Facility
Sponsor: Unilever Inc.

Feasibility study to determine the economic and operational benefits of utilizing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
Sponsor: Georgia Department of Transportation

Library Next Airbook Delivery
Sponsor: Georgia Institute of Technology

Application of Augmented Reality Technology for Facility Management

The Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Owner/Operator (AECO) industry is constantly seeking new methods to increase efficiency and productivity. Facility Managers (FMs) as a part of owner/operator position, usually work in complex and dynamic environments where they have to make important decisions. This decision-making process and its consequent performance can be improved by enhancing Situation Awareness (SA) of the FMs through new digital technologies. In this project, InfoSPOT (Information Surveyed Point for Observation and Tracking), as a mobile Augmented Reality (AR) tool, is recommended to FMs to access the information about the facilities they maintain.  AR has been considered as a viable option to reduce inefficiencies of data overload by providing FMs with a SA tool to visualize their “real-world” locations with added interactive data. An experimental approach is used to perform user participation analysis to evaluate the features of the InfoSPOT. This innovative application of AR has the potential to improve construction practices, and in this case, facilitate facility management practices.

Example Projects:

Design and Construction Applications of BIM-Based Mobile Augmented Reality
Sponsor: Digital Building Lab

BIM2MAR: Exchange Method and Workflow for Efficient BIM Translation to Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) Applications in AECO Practices
Sponsor: Digital Building Lab

Immersive Virtual Reality Technology applications in Building Construction

The use of Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) systems has been deemed a beneficial strategy in the construction industry. Many studies on the topic, however, avoid discussing the extent to which such systems enhance the cognitive capabilities of construction professionals who perform tasks that benefit from depictive representations. Knowledge on the cognitive benefits provided by immersive visualization is essential to elicit its usefulness and effectiveness, as well as to provide development directions. Our studies are at the intersection of basic and applied science and are centered on visual perception, presence, and learning in immersive environments for architectural design, construction, and workforce training applications, identifying opportunities for revolutions in both usability metrics and virtual experiences in the field. Visual perception is at the center of most of our investigations, as it informs future developments in displays, content characteristics, visual cues, realism levels, and interaction devices. Frequently, our studies seek to quantitatively verify the ability of IVR technology in providing users with enhanced spatial perception and levels of presence in the virtual environment compared to non-immersive conventional VR systems and other traditional media, depending on the application context.