Controller wants fleet of drones doing Philly safety inspections [video]

Listen

Philadelphia’s City Controller says building safety inspections could be much better with a touch of technology.  

Controller Alan Butkovitz showed off a $500 drone and the video it could take.  He says buying a fleet of the mini helicopter cameras could dramatically improve safety inspections — by getting to hard-to-reach locations.

butkodronex600

A screenshot taken from the city’s video shows crumbling buildings from above (Screenshot via youtube: ‘Philadelphia City Controller Launches Drone to Examine Dangerous Buildings’)

“I was present for the demonstration it was really extraordinarily impressive to look into the openings of a tall building to look at the roof and and see potential collapsing roofs. There are a host of other dangerous conditions that can be identified within seconds,” he said.

Butkovtiz next wants to persuade city departments to go along.

“Well it’s beyond the idea stage we’ve done a demonstration and we’ve done outreach with the Kenney administration to try and sell them on the idea,” he said.

He says quick implementation would require hiring drone operators since there is a learning curve to manipulating the miniature aircraft.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.