Summary:

Startup Spotscale claims its service — which uses drones, software, 3D printers — will generate photo-realistic models of buildings or landscapes.

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photo: Spotscale

Swedish startup Spotscale has knit together a system using drones, still image capture and video transmission, photorealistic software and 3D printers to build realistic models of structures that can be used in civil engineering, architectural renovations, construction projects and other big jobs.

Drone shot of city block.

Drone shot of city block.

Spotscale founder Ludvig Emgård said the company controls the whole process from “data capture in the field, to the 3D model generation through advanced computer vision to the experience on different devices and in print. It’s unusual in our business to have all that under the same roof,” he said via email.

“By using custom helis, we can add new interesting combinations of sensors and maximize efficiency in the collection process.” Emgård  added. The “helis” are flown within line-of-sight of their operators, who control them via remote control.

Model built using drone-collected data.

Model built using drone-collected data.

The drone uses a camera to shoot and collect data about bridges, houses, castles, — and the resulting 3D images that can then be rotated on tablet or PC for closer examination.

The software can then feed those coordinates into 3D printers to build scale models using plastic, metal, glass or other material.

Aerial photography is one of the more promising applications for drones, which my colleague Signe Brewster found while flying a camera-equipped drone recently.

Spotscale’s service is available now starting at $5,000 per model, with price varying with the complexity of the building.

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