Autonomous drones that can see and fly intelligently

Phys.org | February 06, 2019

Drones have been given eyes and a new algorithm to help them fly intelligently, reaching their target position when GPS is not available. Dr. Jiefei Wang, a researcher from UNSW Canberra Trusted Autonomy Group, used an Xbox Kinect sensor as an input camera to help drones 'see' their environment.
Jiefei developed algorithms to process the video footage image by image, to help the drones know their own speed, motion, and to detect obstacles so they can reach their target position-a completely autonomous system.
Depth information is crucial for locating objects, Jiefei says. Human beings can use one eye to see the world but need two eyes to locate. For example, try closing one eye, then point your index fingers towards each other and bring them together. Most people will find this difficult.

Spotlight

It’s no secret that architecture, engineering and construction firms continue to resist digitization by clinging to manual processes, rendering them only about half as productive as the total economy. To be innovators and deliver the best results, the AEC industry must embrace change and digitization rather than accepting the status quo.

Spotlight

It’s no secret that architecture, engineering and construction firms continue to resist digitization by clinging to manual processes, rendering them only about half as productive as the total economy. To be innovators and deliver the best results, the AEC industry must embrace change and digitization rather than accepting the status quo.

Related News

Jacobs Selected by Metra to Provide Engineering and Design Services for the Rock Island Connection

Jacobs | October 01, 2020

Jacobs (NYSE:J) was selected by Metra to provide engineering and design services for the Rock Island Connection (P2), as part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program's 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (75th St. CIP). Combined for logistic and environmental reasons, the 75th St. CIP is the CREATE Program's largest project and addresses Chicago's top congestion point. When constructed as part of the 75th St. CIP, P2, a double-track flyover structure will help provide faster and more reliable service on the Metra SouthWest Service line, which frequently experiences freight interference, by routing this line to join the Metra Rock Island line on its own track. The SouthWest Service line Metra trains can then access LaSalle Street Station, allowing for additional passenger rail capacity at Union Station.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Inside the Autodesk Laboratories, Where the Future of Construction, from Drones to Holograms, is Being Tested

Autodesk | July 06, 2021

When renovation on a century-old YMCA facility in Beverly, Massachusetts, started, a laser scan of the structure revealed a unique challenge: almost every ceiling in the building was slightly uneven. Reframing the building's walls would need the use of hundreds of various-sized studs. It would be a complicated nightmare to build them on-site. As a result, Windover Construction, the firm in charge of the renovation, sought a technical solution. So they put their laser scan data into an automated steel frame fabrication equipment, which accurately produced light gauge steel studs and panels for the building, collaborating with the New Zealand-based manufacturing firm Howick. The machine also added one important feature. The new studs may telescope, shrinking down to fit more easily into and through the old building's tight spaces and extending out like a shower curtain rod put into position. The telescoping wall stud is only one of the construction innovations created in a unique new multidisciplinary initiative sponsored by Autodesk, the creator of the industry-standard architectural design tool AutoCAD. Autodesk has established a residency program for businesses trying to utilize new technologies to address design and construction issues via its Technology Centers. Windover and Howick got together due to the program, recognizing that one had technology that could solve the other's issue. The building business is currently a low-tech affair. Regardless of the fancy design tools and advanced building information modeling systems used by architects and engineers, once a project is under construction, it is thrown into a decentralized world of general contractors who source materials, hire workers, and build projects according to their formulas. In the business, best practices are often based on what each contractor has done in the past. A more systematic approach to construction that uses technology is still a notion rather than a reality. The Technology Centers, situated in Autodesk locations in San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, and Birmingham, England, are similar to large fabrication laboratories where firms and researchers attempt to discover new production techniques to solve construction industry problems. The facilities, which opened in 2018, include CNC metalworking equipment, 3D printers, water jet cutting systems, 5-axis robotic arms, and laboratories where composite materials, glass, and ceramics can be used to create new components and tools. In addition, Autodesk provides residencies ranging from two weeks to two years, providing space and resources for startups, academia, and established industry players to explore new ideas and develop novel ways to design and construct. A team of students from the University of Southern California recently used the Boston Technology Center to robotically build an intricate steel pedestrian bridge that now crosses a ravine in Los Angeles. The pandemic prompted Autodesk to shut its Technology Centers, but Rundell said they would return gradually starting this month. In any case, the closure of the centers had little effect on the collaboration. Autodesk converted the residency program to a virtual version, allowing businesses to meet and work online. As a result, more companies showed interest in participating because they did not have to go to one of the Technology Centers or give up billable hours. The network of the residency program now includes about 160 companies and organizations. Windover Construction has utilized the network to find additional construction solutions, including a collaboration with Fologram, an Australian mixed reality company. As a result, Windover reduced that part of the project's schedule by 70% by using Microsoft HoloLens goggles and Fologram's mixed reality technology to direct the assembly of hundreds of roof trusses for a building project.

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CONSTRUCTION

Deltek and AIA Introduce a New Solution for Architects to Build Better Projects

Deltek,AIA | June 18, 2021

Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based enterprises, and AIA have announced that Deltek Specpoint, a new solution for the AEC sector, will be available in September. The solution is an all-in-one specification and design automation tool that will serve as AIA MasterSpec's new home. With its unique approach to specification authoring and the industry-proven content provided by MasterSpec, Specpoint will assist architects and engineers in reducing risks and improving project outcomes. Deltek and the AIA have a long history of collaboration and leadership in the architecture and building design industries, beginning with MasterSpec, a product developed by The AIA for its members. The two companies collaborated to offer MasterSpec and software solutions that provide architects with the greatest tools for specifying building products and materials. Recognizing the need for architectural and engineering firms to improve project efficiency, Deltek and AIA have collaborated to provide extensive online building product research and selection content and a simplified specification design and publishing tool. Deltek Specpoint, the home of AIA MasterSpec, is a cloud-based software system that will change how product manufacturers, architects, and engineers interact. Users will intelligently explore and select products, write specs efficiently, and create project manuals to deliver successful projects. About Deltek Better software means better projects. Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. More than 30,000 organizations and millions of users in over 80 countries worldwide rely on Deltek for superior levels of project intelligence, management, and collaboration. Our industry-focused expertise powers project success by helping firms achieve performance that maximizes productivity and revenue. About AIA Founded in 1857, AIA consistently creates more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state, and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and general wellbeing. AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business and engage civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.

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