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Modeling Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer in High-Resolution 3D – with Pix4D & Aeryon Labs

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Apogee Series, the most accurate MEMS Inertial Navigation System

Apogee Series, the most accurate MEMS Inertial Navigation System
Rueil-Malmaison, France - SBG Systems releases the Apogee Series, the most accurate inertial navigation systems based on the robust and cost-effective MEMS technology. The cutting-edge Apogee Series is also the smallest and lightest inertial navigation system at this level of accuracy.…

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How a drone created the first high res 3D model of Christ the Redeemer in Rio

Photo: Pix4D and Aeryon LabsPhoto: Pix4D and Aeryon Labs

How do you map and model a 38 meter tall statue that’s located atop a 700 meter tall mountain? The obvious solution is LIDAR, a remote sensing technology that collects 3-dimensional point clouds of the Earth’s surface.

But with a statue so large and situated in a difficult to access location, it was a seemingly impossible task.

That’s until a team of engineers and drone pilots — along with the Aeryon UAV platform and Pix4D’s image processing software proved them wrong by mapping the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janerio, said to be Brazil’s most important monument.

t3yvdhiYLPQZWS03kufa9TZl5MtsIrsPPQn0IgOEOw0,qTqvV2dw5oEtE1e0NH9p9SwhzlyCykanrdnA461CUsgPhoto: Pix4D and Aeryon Labs

“Creating the first ever accurate 3D model of such a renowned statue with our software is a great way to showcase how image processing technology can achieve results that traditional technologies haven’t been able to produce,” said Christoph Strecha, CEO and Founder of Pix4D. “With its intricate detail, the statue was also a perfect structure to test out our new 3D textured mesh.”

But even with a drone, collecting the data is not easy.

Piloted by Aeryon Labs’ April Blaylock the drone was constricted by weather and wind conditions at the mountain’s high altitude, while also restricted by specific daylight hours due to shadows that caused inconsistent lighting conditions.

When captured, 2,090 images were converted into a 3D model by Pix4D’s Lisa Chen.4qlLEpzseoaXHxc2sDtDc_wVYYORsDKIVHmFQPxD8sw

The team also included Sonja Betschart, CMO of Pix4D, Lisa Chen, Celso Santos and Benoit Brot.

Some crazy numbers:

2,090: the number of images used to created the 3D model 2.5 million: the number of triangles with a texture of 16374X16384 used for the mesh 6: number of days it took to acquire the images 19: number of 10-minute flights it took to acquire the images 2: number of weeks it took for the 3D reconstruction 38: height of the Christ the Reedemer statue (in meters) 28: armspan of the Christ the Reedemer statue (in meters)

The project will eventually be used by Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.


“This project took years of waiting by the NEXT lab team and many months of planning and collaboration across several time zones to pull the technologies together in Rio,” commented Dave Kroetsch, Aeryon’s President and CEO. “We are pleased to have participated and that the Aeryon UAV platform was instrumental in creating the first accurate 3D model of the Christ the Redeemer monument.”

Watch it all on video below:

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Simply Create Drone Apps for Any Drone. Launching the NVdrones Closed Beta.

Hi everyone,

My name is Kevin, one of the co-founders of NVdrones, and I'm happy to announce that today we are launching a closed beta for our drone software development platform, meant to dramatically simplify the drone software development experience. 

Who Are We?

I'd like to speak briefly about who we are and how we got to this point. We are a team of mostly recent college graduates from USC, and our team has past experience at places such as SpaceX, Qualcomm, Amazon, IdeaLab, and Wheego Electric Vehicles. We spent a lot of our time in the past few years building our own drones from scratch for various clients, from artists to emergency services personnel. Along the way, we noticed a few things: The first is that drone software development is difficult to use in its current state and contains a pretty harsh learning curve. The second is that there are so many different platforms out there on the market that it's hard to decide which ones to use and which ones are best.

On a side note: That Drone Show did a segment on us at the LA Drone Expo that you can watch here: 


What Do We Do?

We set out to create a low-cost and universal software development platform that would solve both of these issues. Our development board that runs our software is plug-n-play compatible with any flight controller that uses a standard RC transmitter and we've made it very easy to attach sensors and actuators using our SDK's. Today's release and documentation contains high-level libraries for Arduino, but our Android and Javascript libraries will be released very soon.

Our goal is that you don't have to be a drone expert or know all the inner workings of a drone in order to create amazing drone applications. 

What Are The Next Steps?

If you're interested in learning more, please register for our closed beta at developers.nvdrones.com or contact us by e-mailing developers@nvdrones.com or messaging me here. We're really excited about the possibilities of the platform and we've been getting a lot of very positive feedback. Our highest priority is to work together with as many people as possible in order to simplify the process from the point of idea creation all the way to end-user implementation. 

The purpose of this closed beta is to work closely together with as many people as possible so that we can achieve our goal of simplicity. This doesn't only apply to just our code, but also our documentation, tutorials, examples, and everything else that is part of the developer experience. 

Happy flying!

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FAA Drone Regulations Guarantee Showdown

FAA Drone Regulations Guarantee Showdown
By Robert Goyer You have to hand it to the FAA as it attempts in heroic fashion to work drones into the National Airspace System (NAS). It’s not really a fool’s errand, because unlike the silly fool, the FAA hasn’t…

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