Improving the Energy Efficiency of Buildings with Drones

New York City has big goals for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions over the next decade, with a big portion of them coming from buildings. Energy efficiency retrofits will account for a significant amount of those GHG reductions and technology can play a part in helping to identify where inefficiencies are in a building’s envelope (exterior walls and roof).   

Opportunity: Developed out of NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, Building Diagnostic Robotics (BDR) created robotics tools and AI analytics to aid in assessing building envelope efficiency. Called EASEEbot, the tools include a UAV (drone) that can take video, thermal, and LiDAR imaging of a building exterior and a robot that scans roofs utilizing Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).  

With the support of OTI and the Department Citywide Administrative Service’s (DCAS) Division of Energy Management, the BDR team’s received a $50,000 planning grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and was later awarded a $1M grant to scale the program and provide data on buildings across the city.  

Project Timeframe

November 2023 – August 2024

New York University (NYU)
Building Diagnostics Robotics (BDR)
Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS)
Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI)
Project Category
Greenhouse Gas Emissions