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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17 unmanned systems inside February/March 2017 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. Slovakia's Studio 727, using Aibotix drones and new processing software, has helped catalogue the country's ancient monuments—from medieval churches and castles to entire historic urban zones—in three-dimensional detail. by Peter Gutierrez N orth to south and east to west, Europe's wealth of heritage sites ref lects a his- tory that goes back thousands of years. But the old continent also boasts a resourceful and forward-looking high-tech community, in- cluding a growing unmanned systems industry. The richness and capability of both these resources were on display when the film and advertising experts of Studio 727 and German drone manufacturer Aibotix took on the liter- ally 'monumental' task of helping digitize close to 2,000 of Slovakia's cultural sites, under the government-funded 'Digital Monuments Fund' (DMF) project. Using both terrestrial laser scanning and digital photogrammetry, Studio 727 captured millions of data points along with thousands of accurate photos. This raw data was used to produce highly detailed, textured 3-D models, highly exact polygon models, point clouds, or- thophotos, gigapixel panoramas and technical drawings of large architectural sites down to one-centimeter accuracy. Doing the heavy lifting for the project was the Aibot X6 Version 2 (V2), an autonomous hexa- copter, designed for surveying, industrial and agricultural applications. "From the start, we were looking for accuracy, best quality of georeferencing, and a solid base for our 3-D modeling," said Studio 727 Founder and CEO Ladislav Dedik, "and we believed the Aibotix system was the right solution to get us the best possible results." Starting Small Studio 727 was launched in Slovakia in 1997. Working initially as a post-production studio delivering film editing and animation, it grew to providing more complex film and video post- production. "We got to be pretty well know n in the Slovakian market," Dedik said. The company still works primarily on full- length films, historical documentaries and short films, commercials and music videos, De- dik said. "As for post-production services, 727 delivers the full spectrum of technologies—film scanning, digital color correction, digital film restoration, off- and online film editing, car- toons, 2-D and 3-D animation, online compost- ing, special visual effects and more." Based in part on its visual processing exper- tise, Studio 727 was tapped to lead the small consortium undertaking the DMF project. The Picturesque: Using drones, advanced processing to preserve historical sites "THE SPECIFIC AIM of the project was to digitize a selected number of the country's national cultural monuments and historical objects, to allow, later, detailed restoration work to preserve these monuments for future generations." Ladislav Dedik, Studio 727, founder and CEO 1,855 is the number of historical sites and objects digitized Source: Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic fast fact