Technologies like BIM, drones, virtual reality and real-time workflow software have made an entrance that will forever alter the scope of the construction industry. Every few weeks, Construction Dive provides a roundup of the latest technology product announcements that promise to boost productivity by saving contractors time, money and labor. To view the entire series, click here.
3DR goes panoramic, vertical in app’s new drone flight modes
Drone software company 3DR added a vertical scan mode to its Site Scan iOS app, as well as a panorama feature.
Vertical scan allows drones to collect and process data through autonomous scans of walls and facades. “For example, you can use it to capture steep mines and quarries, dams and towers, and the exterior of a building for better quality control and progress monitoring,” the Berkeley, California-based firm explained in a press release last week. Planning for vertical scans can now be done in 3D as well, where flight planning was previously two-dimensional.
The update to the app now enables drones to capture a complete 360-degree view from a fixed area. Panoramic images can be uploaded to the Site Scan cloud, where they are automatically processed into a fully interactive 360-degree image for sharing and collaboration.
Honda autonomous off-road vehicle aims to navigate jobsites
Honda has introduced a prototype off-road vehicle designed for fully autonomous work purposes and is currently seeking partners for further testing and development.
“The prototype vehicle features GPS and sensor-based autonomy capable of guiding the unit in almost any environment, a rail accessory mount system for limitless accessories and attachments and onboard power plug-ins,” the Japanese automaker said in a recent statement. “Its compact size and off-road capabilities make it highly maneuverable and perfect for a variety of locations, from dense forests to urban pedestrian zones.”
The vehicle is intended for dangerous and difficult locations, with industries such as construction in mind.
Caterpillar helps management of machines from mobile
Heavy machinery maker Caterpillar launched an app designed to track equipment telemetric data. Cat App aims to help workers quickly visualize and manage data related to machine location and health, fault codes, maintenance management and downtime indicators from their mobile devices.
The app is “optimized for contractors who need to track critical machine operating data from the field,” said Fred Rio, director of digital and technology for Caterpillar Construction Industries. Users of the app and Caterpillar equipment can monitor their entire fleet, request parts and service, and connect with Cat dealers from the jobsite.
"The exact location of all equipment tracked by the app is displayed on the mobile device, along with the machine’s operating hours, health and utilization data,” a press release explained. “It enables operations to get the most from their equipment by moving an under-utilized asset to precisely where it is needed most.”
3DCONS project to develop new 3D-printing materials, printers for construction
Eight companies in Spain have formed a consortium focused on how 3D printing can be used to rehabilitate facades, restore architectural elements and work on vertical surfaces. The group will also explore methods for 3D printing prefabricated elements a la carte to “adhere to specific, necessary requirements for features such as thickness, shape and acoustic and thermal properties,” 3Dprint.com reported.
The 3DCONS project aims to develop new formulations and materials for “advanced construction processes using 3D printing,” according to its website. Two prototype 3D printers, three new material families as well as new analysis and design tools will be built and used as part of this final activity.
Project objectives also include research into robotic 3D printing systems that can automate renovation and construction work. Another goal is to develop new methods of data collection that allow the process to glean info for further development of new materials based on cement, gypsum, and lime, specifically for use in extrusion-based 3D printing processes.