UAVs Delivering Critical Infrastructure Inspections with Actionable Intelligence

By: | June 21st, 2014

New software and portable measurement devices are allowing manufacturers to do 3-D inspections of parts and assemblies on the factory floor, offering up a significant decrease in errors. The recent use of CAD software to develop new products had drawbacks in that CAD designs could not ensure final products met configuration requirements. New tools such as Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) programs help reduce rework time and improve quality control.

A company called FARO sells FaroArms, gauges, laser scanners and software applications that benefit manufacturing lines. Competitor Hexagon also provides Romer, CimCore and Leica brands to the meteorology market for the same purpose. These companies are focused on an area of manufacturing that has a huge upside. For example, laser scanners can be used in a wide range of industries from medicine and sports to jewelry and military and this type of product helps companies maintain quality on production lines and reduce errors.

Inspection Going Aerial

Hexagon recently acquired Aibotix, located in Kassel, Germany, a manufacturer of smart, multi copter systems for aerial applications that use laser scanners. The Aibot X6, for example, is a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is intelligent, autonomous and safe; it takes off vertically and is designed to meet the needs of companies providing industrial inspection services, aerial mapping, surveying, and utility and security services.

As is the case with most UAVs, Aibot X6 delivers real-time geospatial information in hard to reach areas including complex infrastructure inspection of power lines, bridges, dams or tall buildings and vertical structures. Hexagon, through Aibotix, now delivers application-specific solutions using UAVs as a critical part of the workflow and providing actionable intelligence. In today’s developing smart cities with smart infrastructure projects built on hundreds of millions and billions of dollars in investment frequent and local updates, feeding information wirelessly to applications is critical.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth.

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