Geo Week News

March 9, 2016

3D Robotics Announces UAV-to-Cloud Solution with Autodesk

3DR Site Scan
A fragment view of the road under reconstruction. Courtesy of Autodesk.

3DR has announced that it is using Autodesk’s FORGE platform to develop a UAV-to-cloud solution called 3DR Site Scan. It is intended to help field staff in the construction, utilities, and survey and mapping industries process data and share deliverables.

The Autodesk Forge platform is a collection of tools that enables developers to build solutions on top of Autodesk’s portfolio of cloud services and software. Specifically, 3DR’s Site Scan is built on the application programming interface (API) for ReCap, Autodesk’s 3D imaging software.

Here’s how it works. A field professional captures data with 3DR’s SOLO drone. From there, Site Scan processes that data in the cloud using Autodesk’s ReCap engine and uploads deliverables to Autodesk’s A360 service. There, stakeholders can view point clouds, meshes, or orthographic views, and use this data in other Autodesk software for applications like monitoring sites, measuring stock piles, capturing as-builts, and survey and mapping.

In an official statement, 3DR CEO Chris Anderson explained that “capturing site data today is costly, time consuming, and often dangerous. Drones can easily go where it’s inefficient or unsafe for field personnel, making it easier to accurately measure our world so we can better manage it. We’re delighted to leverage the Autodesk FORGE platform to deliver a complete solution for site capture that will help business customers save time and money and will take humans out of harm’s way.”

This partnership is Autodesk’s latest strategic move to increase their activity in the UAV space. It follows Autodesk’s announcement in November of 2015 that it took part in a $25 million investment round for Skycatch intended to help the company expand and scale their solutions for the AEC space.*

  • Correction — March 14: The article previously stated that Autodesk invested $25 million in Skycatch, where as the company invested an undisclosed amount as part of a $25 million investment round.

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