Unmanned Systems Technology 017 | AAC HAMR UAV | Autopilots | Airborne surveillance | Primoco 500 two-stroke | Faro ScanBot UGV | Transponders | Intergeo, CUAV Expo and CUAV Show reports

68 A lthough better known for its high-precision measuring systems, Faro is now automating the use of its 3D technology through an autonomous system. Scanning a large structure such as the inside or outside of a building to create a detailed 3D model can take a lot of time, even with a high-speed scanning camera, and it can be labour-intensive if the camera has to be moved around to each measurement position. The aim of the ScanBot is to support the company’s Focus 3D modelling camera to move automatically from one measurement point to the next. Each scan takes up to 40 minutes, after which the camera is moved to a new position, which the camera logs via a GNSS receiver to an accuracy of ±1 mm outdoors. Other technologies such as simultaneous location and mapping (SLAM) are required to provide the required accuracy indoors, so Faro combines data from Lidar sensors and two cameras to enhance the ScanBot’s positioning accuracy. This can also be used outdoors. All the data from each scan is then combined into a dense ‘point cloud’ and exported to a PC to build an accurate, detailed 3D model which can be used for building virtual reality simulations or accurate architectural models. Automating this process takes a combination of technologies and attention to engineering detail. The system has to be lightweight to provide Nick Flaherty explains how one company has been developing an autonomous system to create detailed 3D models of large structures Building a picture December/January 2018 | Unmanned Systems Technology The ScanBot features a scissor lifting mechanism for stability and a wide field of view for the camera