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Drones Vs Platforms - Lowering Costs while increasing efficiencies!

Working with economies of scale is an efficient way to drive operational costs down when carrying out planned and unplanned inspection and maintenance surveys.

Traditionally access platforms and scaffolding have been the preferred method for carrying out these vital tasks.

This article looks at why drones are now seen as the main disrupter and increasingly preferred solution for carrying out roof inspection and maintenance surveys for organisations who own large property portfolios. 

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can access hard-to-reach places faster, cheaper, and with less risk than traditional methods such as platform or rope access.

Traditional methods for inspecting roofs and hard to access areas include scaffolding, access platforms, rope access, or cherry picker hire.

Some of the main benefits of using drone technology to carry out roof inspection surveys are:

  • Cost. When operating at scale, our models have proven that carrying our surveys using UAS can reduce the cost of traditional methods by up to 50%.

  • Speed. Erecting scaffolding or booking a cherry picker can take days or weeks; a drone can be in the air within hours, meaning rapid response to unexpected weather damage. 

  • Safety. Working at height carries risk. Quite rightly, there are strict laws in place to minimize the risk of accidents and injuries, but these can complicate roof and aerial inspections involving physical access.

  • Flexibility. As well as taking photographs and videos, drones can carry out a variety of work, including thermal imaging surveys. Our technology uses advanced AI to detect and predict damage on the fly. 

  • Digitisation - Most businesses are now looking for ways to automate existing processes digitally. Our technology can allow for remote viewing of our surveys and multi-level engagement functionality to highlight areas of concern and assign tasks.

Streamline visual inspections

  • Visualise, analyse and report faster and more efficiently with photogrammetry and AI-powered inspection tools.

  • Predict and schedule maintenance before the costs escalate. Our technology helps to reduce repair costs and insurance premiums. 

  • Manage your inspection data - Access, manage, and share your inspection data in a smart, simple, and scalable platform.

  • Ensure data security - Our system is powered by AWS to offer a reliable and future-proof cloud platform that meets the requirements of the most risk-sensitive organization


  • Automate the collection of high-resolution roof imagery

  • Generate accurate roof reports with the click of a button

  • Take consistent, accurate measurements of square footage, roof features, pitch, surface area, and slope

  •  PDF file creation for easy sharing and collaboration

  • Export a roof geometry DXF file compatible with your existing tools for CAD analysis and design

  • 3X faster than traditional methods

  • Collect data in a consistent, repeatable way

ADS operates a unique model for managing and delivering aerial data collection projects at scale. Our team of UK and RoI operators go through a stringent vetting and on-boarding process before joining our field teams. 

Cost Savings – Against platform based approach

Below we have provided an example of the cost savings that can be achieved by using our scale operations service for your annual roof surveys.

For the example we have estimated platform costs and building sizes:

Platform costs

For more information about how we can help lower costs, increase efficiencies and improve the level of data available to you, contact us today and one of our experienced team members will contact you.


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