RDO intros all-U.S.-made drones directed at construction, aggregates industries

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix
Updated Aug 20, 2020
RDO Integrated Control’s RDRone drone.RDO Integrated Control’s RDRone drone.

RDO Integrated Controls is now offering a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aimed primarily at construction and earthmoving applications.

Working in partnership with Vision Aerial in Bozeman, Montana, RDO’s new RDR series drones were initially developed with a mapping component, and are now customizable to include various configurations, including LiDAR, hyperspectral, multispectral, and thermal.

The drones are built in the U.S. and do not have Chinese components—a key selling point—according to RDO Integrated Controls, the technology division of RDO Equipment.

“Because of growing concerns regarding data management security, an increasing number of government jobs, military sites, and security projects do not allow use of drones that are manufactured in China or with Chinese components,” says Adam Gilbertson, vice president of RDO Integrated Controls and RDO Equipment’s Midwest Construction – West region. RDO says its drones give companies “assurance they are in full compliance with these rules and regulations on every jobsite.”

Two models are offered: the RDROne drone is a tri-copter design. The RDRTwo drone, designed for heavier payloads, is a hexacopter.

While developed for construction and aggregate companies, the drones also have options for applications in agriculture, inspection, law enforcement and security, mining, oil and gas inspection, professional photography and cinematography, as well as survey.

RDO says its drones provide fast and accurate volume and grade measurement — to a 10th-foot accuracy or better — when used with ground control or the additional RTK systems now available. The drones are built to fly in winds up to 35 miles per hour and offer up to 35 minutes of continuous operation in a single flight.

According to RDO, the drones are compatible with any photogrammetry data management software including RDO’s new online product, RDOai, a cloud-based 3D data management system and analytics platform.

They are supported by the RDO Integrated Controls Solutions Center, based in Billings, Montana, and are available on www.rdomarketplace.com.