Aerial Robotic Technologies for Civil Engineering: Established and Emerging Practice

Madelaine R Freeman, Mehdi M Kashani, Paul J Vardanega*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)


Aerial robotic technology has potential for use in a wide variety of civil engineering applications. Such technology potentially offers low-cost methods to replace expensive structural health monitoring activities such as visual inspection. Aerial robots also have potential uses in civil construction and for regional surveys. This paper presents the results of a review on the applications of aerial robotic technology in civil engineering. Such civil engineering applications can be classified into three broad areas: (i) monitoring and inspection of civil infrastructure; (ii) site management, robotic construction, and maintenance and (iii) post-disaster response surveys and rapid damage assessments. The motivations for uptake of aerial robotics in the civil engineering industry generally fall into the following categories: (i) cost savings, (ii) improved measurement capability and (iii) safety improvements. The categories of aerial robotic use in civil engineering are then classified as either ‘established’ or ‘emerging’ uses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-91
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems
Issue number2
Early online date18 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2021


  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
  • Construction Site Management
  • Post Disaster Response Survey;
  • Robotic Construction


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