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Attentional Impact of Drones on Construction Sites

9 pagesPublished: December 11, 2023


Drones are being widely deployed in construction, and the interaction between them and construction professionals is expected to increase even more in the future. However, the deployment of these aerial robots near construction professionals could be associated with additional risks affecting the safety and health of the workplace. This study explores the attentional impact of drone presence at different distances from construction professionals on the jobsite. Through a user-centered virtual reality-based experiment, construction professionals were asked to accomplish a construction task with the presence of drones while having their eye movement tracked. Results showed that the drone presence has an impact on participants’ attentional states and that these aerial robots have attracted some of the construction professionals’ attention. Participants’ attentional state was also impacted by the drone operational distance, with professionals in close proximity from the drone looking fewer at the aerial robot, and for shorter durations, as opposed to those located at a farther distance. The contributions of this study are to ensure safe human-drone interaction in construction by informing industry personnel of the potential safety impacts of drones on jobsites and assisting in the formalization of specific regulations for the use of aerial robots in the industry.

Keyphrases: Attentional Allocation Impact, Construction Safety, Drone, Human-drone interaction, Proxemics

In: Tom Leathem, Wesley Collins and Anthony J. Perrenoud (editors). Proceedings of 59th Annual Associated Schools of Construction International Conference, vol 4, pages 121--129

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Gilles Albeaino and Idris Jeelani and Masoud Gheisari and Raja R. A. Issa},
  title     = {Attentional Impact of Drones on Construction Sites},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of 59th Annual Associated Schools of Construction International Conference},
  editor    = {Tom Leathem and Wes Collins and Anthony Perrenoud},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Built Environment},
  volume    = {4},
  pages     = {121--129},
  year      = {2023},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2632-881X},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/t7jn}}
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