Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2017

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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45 unmanned systems inside October/November 2017 ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. and down, lean over, spin around, f ly through doorways or out through the roof. Pointing to some furniture, Evans said: "It's pretty unusual for us to be able to stand here and discuss whether we need to move that table over there or the chair over here. But we can go a lot further; we can use MAGNET Collage to create subsets of the data and we can start to extract very simple things like the floor plan of our room and make some key measurements." From there, he said, the users can create data subsets, which they can then hand on to a design team or other collaborators. "We can build us a 3-D model," he said. "We can colorize various elements in this en- vironment, so if you look down you know it's a wooden f loor—and over there the wall is a stone wall, and we can put a value on all these materials and the various structural elements." Topcon just announced the launch of MAGNET Collage Web, which means you can jump online and try some of the functionalities on your PC or smartphone. As for the Immersive Point Cloud Workspace, Evans said, "Given the positive response to the dome we may be thinking about taking the whole thing out onto construction sites. "I was at a site the other day and the guy's giving me the tour of the building on paper, you know, in 2-D. And he's pointing at the paper and saying we'll go to this floor and this room and then we'll go up these stairs here, and I'm like I have no idea what he's talking about, until I got into the build- ing and could see it with my own eyes." With the dome, Evans said, it's another sto- ry: "Here you can be inside the building, virtu- ally, really feel and understand the space, with- out having to actually be inside the building." Latest Hardware Topcon's drone-based, point-cloud, data col- lection capabilities include the rotary-wing Falcon 8+, now being made by Intel, said Scott Langbein, the director of marketing for the firm's Positioning Group. "We started distributing the Falcon 8 a few years ago," he said, "working mostly in Europe back when following the rules meant not be- ing able to f ly in the U.S. As far as the work- f low goes, we use the Bentley ContextCapture software to process the raw photos." In November 2016, Bentley Systems and Topcon joined forces to advance cloud services for what they called 'constructioneering.' Part of that deal allowed Topcon to incorporate ContextCapture image processing. "We use that software to do the photogram- metry, and then once that is resolved as a surface model we can bring it into MAGNET Collage, which you saw in the dome. Now for the fixed-wing we have the SIRIUS Pro by MAVinci, where we embed one of our own GNSS boards, the B110, so it's fully RTK." Some will feel the real meat is in the ap- plications. An example of that is a project that used the SIRIUS Pro to count ground squirrels—or were they rare and endangered black-footed ferrets—on Native-American lands in Montana. "It was interesting," Langbein said, "be- cause when a lot of people in the geospatial fields think of mapping they think of things like mining operations. Here they made a map and they could count all the little ferret holes, which is important." Topcon's MAGNET Collage pulls together data from disparate sources to create a unified 3-D point cloud (below). The technology was featured at the firm's booth (corner photo).

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