Unmanned Systems Technology 024 | Wingcopter 178 l 5G focus l UUVs insight l CES report l Stromkind KAT l Intelligent Energy fuel cell l Earthsense TerraSentia l Connectors focus l Advanced Engineering report

Platform one HyBird Technologies is developing hardware, software and data management solutions in simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) for UAVs and UGVs in high-risk indoor environments such as power stations, sewers and culverts (writes Rory Jackson). “We are enhancing and integrating various navigation systems and algorithmic techniques to enable unmanned vehicles to capture as much data from internal environments as possible – not just visual and thermal but several others too that we can’t discuss yet,” said Mohamed Hafez, head of engineering at HyBird. “First though, users need to be able to locate the UAV and UGV in those environments, so robust SLAM development is critical. We’re currently able to localise our unmanned vehicles within 50 mm of their actual position. The SLAM is conducted using a range of sensory inputs, including electro- optical, thermal, Lidar, depth and inertial. These inputs and the algorithms HyBird has developed provide unmanned vehicles with highly accurate spatial perception. That enables peripheral inspection- specific sensors to effectively geo-tag acquired data while simultaneously tracking the 3D paths the UAVs take through the concurrently generated 3D map. Users can locate physical features on these maps, using just photo or video data – linking individual pixels to locations in a point cloud – enabling hardware-agnostic direct comparative analysis over time. “Industrial plant maintenance has been carried out for many decades, with very few changes made to improve human safety – this is what we are aiming to address,” said Ahmed Hadid, CEO at HyBird. “Our system enables engineers to properly pre-plan maintenance tasks that involve human entry into hazardous environments, and ensure that the risks have been minimised, as a result of the rich spatial awareness data captured using SLAM techniques and other sensory inputs.” The company is trialling its technology with engineering companies across the UK, with deployments in the water, nuclear and oil and gas industries. SLAM for high-risk jobs Navigation