It was proposed by Tuft's engineers that drones be roped in to assist in monitoring the structural integrity of bridges in the near future. Bridges are built and then they are left to rust and nobody seems to be bothered. Well, maintenance engineers think that it is time we spent more on bridge inspection because we do have built a lot of bridges of late. Having drones to constantly inspect critical parts of bridges can prevent structural failures, especially on bridges that carry a heavy load. As we have drones to inspect wind turbine and blades, we should also use it to monitor structures that are exposed to corrosion from salty vapour from the sea.
Structural inspections used to be time consuming as it is often done manually. Because of the cost involved, structural inspections are done only rarely if at all. Then there are structures like dams and sea embankments that are in remote areas with nobody to notice any defects, using drones to constantly monitor them will not cost the earth. Hill slopes that experience heavy rainfall in remote areas should have a regular schedule from monitoring drones as we cannot afford a disaster to happen. Rivers should also be constantly monitored to see that there are no objects to obstruct critical points which can lead to flooding. There is also an important issue to prevent more plastic to flow into the oceans. If appropriately monitored, plastic rubbish should be removed from waterways before they enter the ocean.