DroneDeploy, a cloud software company that uses drone imaging to help industries such as agriculture, oil and gas, and construction obtain an aerial view of a site to create a 3D image, today announced a new initiative. which combines photos of drones with ground cameras or even ground robots from a company like Boston Dynamics for what it calls 360 Walkthrough.
Until today’s announcement, DroneDeploy could use drone footage from any drone to get a picture of what a site looks like on the outside, upload those photos, and stitch them together into an inch-accurate 3D model, according to the CEO. by DroneDeploy Mike Winn.
Winn says that while there is great value in getting this type of visualization of the exterior of a construction site, customers were hungry for a total image that included the interior and exterior, and the platform that simply processes the photos transmitted by the drones. It could be adapted quite easily to accommodate camera photos on other devices.
“Our clients are also trying to get insider information and looking for a digital twin, a digital reconstruction of the entire site to understand what is going on to share in their company with the security team and with the executives that this is the state. current construction site, ”Winn explained.
He adds that this is even more important during COVID when access to work sites has been restricted, making it even more important to understand the status of the site on a regular basis.
“They want fewer people at those sites, just the essential workers doing the work. So for anyone who needs information on the site, if you can get that information from a desktop or 3D model or some kind of visualization on the construction site road, it can really help in this COVID environment, but it also does so much more. efficient. Winn said.
He said that while companies can combine this capability with fixed cameras within a site, they don’t offer the kind of coverage that a ground robot might offer, and the Boston Dynamics robot is capable of moving around a difficult job site. with debris scattered around.
While Winn sees the use of the Boston Dynamics robot more as an end goal, he says it is more likely that in the near future he will have a human walking through the construction site with a camera to capture the footage to complete the picture from the inside out. for the DroneDeploy Software.
“All customers already want to adopt robots to collect this data and you can imagine a Boston Dynamics robot [doing this], but this is the final state, of course. Today we are also supporting human passage, a person with a 360 camera walking through the construction site probably does it once a week to document the status of the construction sites, ”he said.
DroneDeploy launched in 2013 and raised more than $ 100 million, according to Winn. He reports that his company has more than 5,000 customers, and drone flight times increased 2.5 times year-over-year this year as more and more companies adopt drones as a way to cope with COVID.