Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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30 unmanned systems inside   October/November 2016 LAND AUTOMATED MACHINE GUIDANCE A robotic total station (right) controls the alignment of a curb machine (middle), which is constructing a concrete barrier, the kind that one might find dividing lanes of a highway. W hen it comes to paving roads, mis- takenly adding a quarter-inch of extra material over 10 miles can boost the final bill by a quarter-million dollars. To avoid such mistakes managers are increas- ingly seeking to improve the overall precision and accuracy of construction projects with au- tomated machine guidance, or AMG. AMG links construction equipment with onboard computers that use data from 3-D models and GPS to guide operations—saving time and money as well as improving safety and quality. Now the Oregon Department of Transportation, or ODOT, is exploring adding by Charles Choi "THE GOAL IS to take our entire state highway system, roughly 9,000 miles of road, and develop a digital representation of it in 3-D, with all our GIS information." Ron Singh, engineering automation manager, chief of surveys and UAS manager, Oregon Department of Transportation Photo courtesy of Ron Singh Drones may one day help transportation departments generate 3-D maps that can be used to help guide automated equipment during construction projects. Drone Surveys Improve Automated Road Construction unmanned aircraft to help survey areas for construction efforts. "It's emerging as a good tool for us in survey- ing," said Ron Singh, who is chief of surveys at ODOT. ODOT is starting out its unmanned aircraft program with a Aibotix Aibot X6 Hexacopter, which can fly programmed flight paths autono- mously and carry 4.4 pounds of cameras and sensors. "We're using traditional RGB cameras at this point, but it's capable of lifting a small LiDAR sensor," said Singh, who also manages all emerg- ing uses of unmanned aircraft systems across

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