Commercial drone data company Skycatch, and DJI, the world’s leading manufacturer of civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, have extended their partnership to manufacture and deliver a fleet of high-precision drones.
The fleet will be utilised by Komatsu Smart Construction and will consist of drones manufactured by DJI and outfitted with specialised Skycatch technology, and is the first time DJI has manufactured a custom drone for a partner.
The Skycatch Explore1 drone autonomously flies over job sites to create highly accurate 3D site maps and models and will be deployed on Komatsu job sites.
The map data will be used for Komatsu Smart Construction’s new data service that enables robotic earth moving equipment, used in the earthwork stage of the construction process, to correctly dig, bulldoze, and grade land autonomously according to digital construction plans.
“Conducting a site survey using a drone used to take hours. However, by implementing Explore1, users can carry out surveying quickly and easily,” said Chikashi Shike, executive office of the smart construction division at Komatsu.
“Now it is possible to perform drone surveying every day. Taking off, landing and flight route setting are all automated. Ground Control Points (GCPs) are no longer needed. 3D data is immediately generated and an entire construction site can be visually checked with the 3D map. The Explore1 is a true game changer for the construction site.”
The Explore1 drone is built on DJI’s customisable Matrice 100 enterprise drone platform and is part of Skycatch’s High Precision Package along with the Edge1 RTK base station, a powerful ruggedized computer with software that locally processes drone images into precise 3D models regardless of wireless connectivity and location.
Together, these technologies enable firms to create accurate maps and point clouds, discover costly job site mistakes, and predict schedule delays, saving up to tens of thousands of dollars per week.
Christian Sanz, CEO at Skycatch, added: “Being the first company to integrate into DJI’s manufacturing process will deliver incredible value to our customers worldwide.”
“By combining DJI’s mastery of hardware manufacturing and aerial technology with Skycatch’s data processing and customer expertise, we’ve created the most powerful and comprehensive solution for enterprise customers everywhere.”
Jan Gasparic, head of enterprise partnerships at DJI, concluded: “The Explore1 demonstrates DJI’s strategy to provide customers with the most powerful and reliable drone platforms on the market that can be tailored to the needs of any industry.”
“Our close collaboration with Skycatch on this exciting program has resulted in a best-in-class solution of software and hardware for aerial surveying that truly changes the game for both our customers and the commercial drone industry.”