Drones are transforming the way we assess bridges. Engineers are increasingly opting for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over traditional means such as aerial work platforms (AWPs), ladders, ropes, and snooper trucks. And it’s simple to understand why.

A high-quality drone can detect bridge corrosion, cracks, scours, and other issues at a fraction of the expense. They are quicker, safer, and more accurate than standard bridge inspection procedures in general.

5 Best Drone for Bridge Inspection

In this post, we’ll go through the best drones for bridge inspections so you may purchase with confidence or simply become acquainted with what’s available in professional drone services like GeoDrone.

We’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each drone option and its unique features. If you are interested in getting a professional drone inspection service, feel free to contact now or after reviewing all the best drone for bridge inspection.

1. DJI Matrice 300 RTK

DJI Matrice 300 RTK - bridge drone inspection - GeoDrones

The Matrice 300 RTK is a state-of-the-art UAV that uses real-time kinetik (RTK) positioning and advanced artificial intelligence to achieve precise positioning.

In GeoDrone, we use DJI Matrice 300 RTK and DJI Phantom 4 RTK for Visionary Intelligence. Elevated Accuracy.

This allows for less hassle in setting up ground control points, like highways, valleys, and bodies of water below bridges, which are impossible to set up GCPs for the same level of accuracy.

The drone’s AI feature, called Spot Check, can save positions and angles to help you perform routine inspections. You can capture the same shot at different times to ensure everything is in order.

The Matrice 300 RTK has six directional sensors that help it avoid obstacles and 3 gimbals, including one upward gimbal, which is optimal for tough angles on bridges. 

The Zenmuse H20 Series is a popular camera model that includes a 20 MP camera with 23x optical zoom, a thermal camera, and a laser rangefinder.

These powerful cameras and sensors give you all the inspection data you need. The data can be transmitted between 2.8 and 5.8 GHz transmission frequencies at 1080p resolution from up to 15 km away.

2. Elios 2

Elios 2 - best drone for bridge inspection - GeoDrones

Flyability’s Elios 2 is an industrial-grade inspection drone. Its distinctive protective structure can withstand most crashes and fly almost anyplace. It can bounce off barriers and even persons without causing harm or injury.

This makes it ideal for maneuvering through tight bridge areas between trusses and girders that are generally inaccessible to people. It also works in temperatures ranging from 32° to 122° F (0° to 50° C). The drone is splash and dust resistant, so you don’t have to worry about getting it wet or dirty.

The drone’s gimbal makes it easy to take upward shots of bridges, which can be inspected using both digital and thermal imaging with a submillimeter resolution of 0.007 inch/px (0.2 mm/px).

This bridge is equipped with an LED lighting system to see in dark spaces.

Thanks to its powerful live video feedback, you can operate the Elios far beyond the line of sight, and the film is saved on an SD card for simple uploading. The main drawback is that the Elios’ rechargeable batteries only last for 10 minutes.

However, you may quickly replace them when they deplete. Overall, we believe the Elios is the most resilient UAV for bridge inspections, making it ideal for complex projects with significant collision risks.

3. Parrot Anafi

Parrot Anafi - bridge drone inspection - GeoDrones

The Parrot ANAFI is a low-cost, ultra-lightweight drone that weighs only 11.2 oz (320 g). Its tiny, folding shape makes it easy to transport. However, its modest stature is misleading. It can fly in temperatures ranging from 14° to 122° F (-10° to 50° C), winds of 31 MPH (50 km/h), and wind gusts of 50 MPH (80 km/h).

The Parrot ANAFI’s gimbal can tilt vertically from -90° to 90°, allowing you to see bridges from above or below. Its 110° wide lens takes 4K HDR videos and 21 MP pictures. You may also fly the drone while wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset and following predefined areas of interest.

4. AceCore Zoe

AceCore Zoe - best drone for bridge inspection - GeoDrones

The AceCore Zoe is a quadcopter designed for easy transportation and capable of exceptional flight times of up to 40 minutes. It has an adaptable payload that can hold up to 6.5kg, making it perfect for specific missions.

Zoe is water-resistant and can operate in wind gusts up to 35 knots, despite only having 4 rotors. 

The triple redundancy autopilot option increases dependability for unmanned missions, and an auto-deploy parachute system allows for safe operation even in the unlikely case of a severe failure.

The capacity of Zoe to adapt to a given task distinguishes it from any other quadcopter UAV. When necessary, Zoe can securely work with cargoes weighing up to 6.5KG. With a lesser payload, Zoe can fly for up to 40 minutes.


SKYDIO 2 - bridge drone inspection - GeoDrones

Skydio 2 is a small drone that can avoid obstacles from all sides. It may provide images of the nooks and crannies of bridge trusses and girders while doing routine inspections on predetermined itineraries.

The drone has a range of 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) and a top speed of 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour). Most crucially, it can travel beneath obstacles that interfere with GPS signals. As a result, it is suitable for flying beneath heavy concrete and steel.

Each of the drone’s six obstacle avoidance sensors has a 200° field of view, allowing it to look in all directions. With a battery life of 23 minutes, you should be able to evaluate most bridges in a single trip.

If you want robust AI obstacle avoidance but don’t want to spend a fortune, we propose the Skydio 2. It’s challenging to beat the price.


There are several advantages to using drones for bridge inspections. They considerably improve inspection efficiency and alleviate many of the problems associated with traditional inspections.

However, your previous expertise and credentials will determine whether you buy a drone or hire a professional drone service like GeoDrone.

A drone bridge inspection is not a task for inexperienced drone pilots. It is a highly sophisticated operation that necessitates the use of qualified and experienced pilots. Your plane might be destroyed if you make one mistake.

This is why many businesses use GeoDrone to conduct inspection flights. Please contact us immediately for a free consultation or more information about airborne bridge inspections.

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