An inside look into how we build drone software for construction

An inside look into how we build drone software for construction

Construction teams are adopting technology faster than ever before. But do you know how your new tools are actually built? If you’re exploring new technologies to bring on-site, it’s helpful to be able to look behind the curtain and see how they’re made. This answers a few questions that may be on your mind, such as: is my drone software vendor actually focusing on my needs? How will this tool evolve over time? How easily can I give feedback, and will it actually be heard and implemented? In this interview with Jess Lam, our Director of Product, we’ll answer all of these questions and more, giving you an inside look into how we build products here at 3DR.  Hugh: What’s your product philosophy for Site Scan? What are the principles that guide the way we build new features and products? Jess: I started as a Product Manager at 3DR two years ago, and one of the first things I worked on with the team was defining a clear product philosophy. What we came up with was simple, but it covers all the important points for us: “We build measurable solutions from our customer’s point of view.” Breaking this down: we build solutions—which solve real problems—not just features. They’re measurable, so we know what kind of impact they make. And most importantly, this is all from our customer’s point of view: what we build needs to matter to our customers. What we can and want to do as a technology company

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3DR Launches Industry-First Thermal Solution for DJI M200 Series Drones

3DR Launches Industry-First Thermal Solution for DJI M200 Series Drones

Today, we’re excited to share that Site Scan now offers an industry-first thermal capability for drones: now, you can capture and use structurally-detailed thermal maps and 3D models in Site Scan, giving you a whole new level of visibility into your projects. Join our webinar with DJI and FLIR to learn how you can create 3D thermal models with drones! The first of its kind This is a one-of-a-kind capability built in collaboration with DJI and FLIR Systems: Site Scan seamlessly supports flying autonomously with the DJI M210 dual gimbal drone, equipped with the Zenmuse X4S and the Zenmuse XT thermal camera, powered by FLIR. “Site Scan’s unique ability to generate structurally detailed thermal point clouds is a brand new capability for our customers across engineering, construction, and mining,” said Chris Anderson, CEO, 3DR. “Now, Site Scan users can easily inspect buildings, structures, and utilities, map solar arrays, monitor concrete curing, and much more. We’re excited to see how our customers put thermal imaging to work on their projects.” Combined thermal + RGB point cloud for plant inspections The workflow is simple: Site Scan users just plan and execute their flight in Site Scan like normal, and the M200 series drone will collect both RGB and thermal imagery. It can then be processed into structurally-detailed thermal maps and models using Pix4D’s industry-leading thermal processing capabilities. As part of this release, Site Scan users are also now able to fly with the XT camera using a single gimbal on any of

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Drone Fleet Management, Now in Site Scan

Drone Fleet Management, Now in Site Scan

In every enterprise drone program, there’s a lot of moving parts to keep track of. You have vehicles to monitor and maintain, batteries to charge, and a team of pilots to lead. As you add drones to your fleet and expand to more projects, this can quickly become a hassle, especially on the software end: you shouldn’t have to use one tool for flying, processing and analyzing drone data, and another tool for managing drones, cameras, and pilots. That’s why we’re introducing fleet management, a central dashboard in Site Scan that makes it easier than ever for you to manage and scale your drone operations. With our fleet management capability, you can automatically track flight data for every drone, battery, and camera, along with each pilot that flies Site Scan. Then, you can view and analyze all of this data in our cloud-based dashboard, just a click away from your drone maps and models. Fleet management makes it easier than ever for you to monitor and maintain your drone operations—and get visibility into your vehicle and pilot activity across your entire company—no matter where you are. For larger, multi-state programs at companies such as PCL Construction, Arcadis, and Kimley-Horn, for example, this single platform gives them complete oversight of their drone operations, helps manage risk and compliance, and makes it easy to identify any problems with their fleet early that need to be fixed.  How it works Just click the ‘Fleet’ tab in Site Scan, and you can see all of

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Building Uber’s New HQ With Drones

Building Uber’s New HQ With Drones

Uber HQ, your drone is arriving now. And it’s being flown by Truebeck Construction, an innovative, fast-growing general contractor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 2007, the company quickly made its mark on high profile projects across Silicon Valley, including the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Park. Now, with over 400 employees and a spot in the ENR 200, Truebeck is building Uber’s new headquarters in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. Their expanding in-house drone program is run by their virtual construction team, led by Justin Porter, Senior VDC Manager. Justin and his team perform a wide range of increasingly vital services across Truebeck’s projects—including Uber—such as laser scanning, drone mapping and drone inspections, alternate delivery methods, 4D scheduling, and driving safety initiatives. The project: Uber’s new HQ The 450,000 square foot headquarters, scheduled to open in 2020, consists of two buildings—one 12 stories and the other seven stories—and sits right beside the new Golden State Warriors stadium. Designed by SHoP Architects, it’s being built using cast-in-place concrete and will have two glass and steel pedestrian bridges crossing between the buildings. The need: aerial imagery for as-built models and progress reporting Justin and Alex from Truebeck planning flights with the 3DR customer success team The Truebeck VDC team is increasingly looking to use drone data on a number of active projects across the Bay Area. “95% of how we use drone data is for site planning, logistics planning, and as-built surveying,” Justin said. “We have

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An Inside Look At Gerdau’s Drone Program

An Inside Look At Gerdau’s Drone Program

Gerdau is one of the largest steelmakers in the world, and they’re using drones to take their work to the next level. Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Gerdau employs over 30,000 people across 11 countries, and focuses on transforming iron ore and steel scrap into full-fledged steel products. Gustavo Franca, IT Manager, and Rafael Alves, Mine Engineer, helped established an in-house drone program at Gerdau in Brazil as a proof of concept in early 2018, with an interest in how drone mapping can help them better capture and use topography data on their iron mines. The project: Varzea do Lopes iron mine in Brazil To start, the Gerdau team wanted to use drones to map Varzea do Lopes, an iron ore mine near the city of Belo Horizonte in Brazil. Varzea do Lopes produces over 6 million tonnes of iron ore every year, and supply it to a number of their steel plants across the country. The need: safe, accurate drone surveying for mine planning “Safety is our top priority,” Gustavo said. “We’re always looking for new tools and methods for improving safety on our projects.” Gerdau had a crew of six people at Varzea do Lopes that performed RTK surveys by foot: a time consuming workflow—especially given the size of the mine, the pit alone covering more than 250 acres—that took between 24-48 hours to collect and process data into final deliverables. They were looking to keep their team out of harm’s way and improve their survey productivity. The Gerdau

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