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NVIDIA Jetson takes to the sky to improve worksite visualization

February 5, 2018  - By

Komatsu plans to introduce NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) to its SmartConstrution jobsites. The GPUs will communicate with drones from Skycatch, a Komatsu partner, which will collect 3D images, generate terrain data and “visualize” site conditions.

Komatsu is deploying the artifical intelligence (AI) project as an extension of its SmartConstruction initiative in Japan; the drone-assisted, automated equipment service was launched to alleviate the burden of the country’s severe shortage of skilled workers.

The company has deployed SmartConstruction at than 4,000 jobsites across the country, and the AI extension will be integrated into those sites.

Working with NVIDIA, OPTiM Corp. — another Komatsu partner and an internet of things management software company — will provide an application to correlate terrain data to jobsite workers and construction machines for visualization.

Enter Jetson. At the center of this collaboration is the NVIDIA Jetson artificial intelligence platform. When Jetson, which works with NVIDIA’s cloud technology, is installed in construction machines, it will be able to provide 360-degree images, enabling prompt recognition of workers and other machines nearby. The technology could potentially decrease fatalities that result from workers being struck by an object, piece of equipment or vehicle.

Jetson will also be used with the stereo cameras installed in the cabs of construction equipment, and will recognize continuously changing jobsite conditions on a real-time basis, to better provide accurate instructions to machine operators.

Future plans call for use not only for automatic control of devices, but also for high-resolution rendering and virtual simulation of construction and quarry jobsite operations.

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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