A national civil engineering company commissioned Networx3 Drones to inspect a 150m long culvert under a dual carriageway.
Networx3 founder and managing director Ian Ashworth deployed the £32,000 Elios drone on the job.
The Elios 2 drone is encased in a cage, which is the size and shape of a football, and allows users to view locked away spaces such as holes in the ground, loft cavities, drains, as well as dangerous structures, vast warehouses and contaminated buildings.
It includes thermal imaging, HD quality live streaming footage and photos accessible via the cloud.
The Elios 2 is fitted with sensors that are designed to sense and avoid obstacles and sustain collisions.
The Elios 2 was able to significantly reduce the time and cost of the culvert inspection.
Ian said: “A job like this – which makes sure that infrastructure underground is safe and stable enough for a road to be built across it – is the perfect job for the Elios 2.
“Without it a two-person team would be inspecting from inside the 4ft-wide culvert, which is 6ft below ground, with a two or three-person team above ground. That costs money and time. The Elios 2 was able to get the answers required from the inspection more quickly and cheaply.”
The pilot project was being used to demonstrate the value of using drones in road building.
Networx3 Drones have used their fleet of drones to help with wildlife surveys and roundabout planning for road builders in the past.