U.S. Autonomous Drone Maker Skydio Announces the General Availability of Skydio 3D Scan and Partners With Photogrammetry Leader Bentley Systems

Skydio 3D Scan, the first-of-its-kind adaptive mapping software, automates data capture with drones to open a new era of autonomous inspection

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — June 2, 2021Skydio, the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight technology, today announced the general availability of its adaptive scanning software, Skydio 3D ScanTM. 3D ScanTM extends Skydio’s groundbreaking autonomous flight engine with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) skills that automate photographic data collection and mapping tasks ranging from infrastructure asset inspection to crime and accident scene reconstruction. In addition, Skydio announced that Bentley Systems, the infrastructure engineering software company, has joined DroneDeploy and RealityCapture in Skydio’s technology partner ecosystem as a preferred photogrammetry solution for 3D Scan datasets. Skydio will provide a closer look at 3D Scan during a special online broadcast event from the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama today at 9 a.m. PT.

3D Scan makes inspection jobs up to 75% faster

Traditional asset inspections performed by workers using bucket trucks, ropes, and ladders are dangerous, time consuming, inaccurate, and often damaging for the environment. Drones have emerged as a valuable tool to conduct visual inspections and gather critical data without putting operators at risk. Drone inspections can generate useful datasets without putting inspectors at risk. But the complexity, crash risk, and training costs of manual drones have greatly limited their ability to generate useful data. These capture workflows are especially critical as the industry transitions from providing inspection reports consisting of handwritten notes and photographs of structures to fully immersive, annotated 3D models that enable measurements and continuous status tracking. Manual drones require cumbersome mission planning, constant access to GPS, and intense focus from an elite pilot to avoid collisions--when inspection teams should be focused on how to capture the best data instead.

3D Scan automates data capture for asset inspection and scene reconstruction, allowing any inspector, surveyor, or first responder to efficiently capture a complete photographic dataset that documents every angle of a scene, ensuring accurate coverage with sub-millimeter precision in a fraction of the time while greatly reducing risk. This revolutionary technology ushers in a new age of autonomous inspection. Specifically, 3D Scan will improve:

  • Rapid Field Assessment. Generates photosets in minutes and enables intelligent photo browsing in the field for real-time inspection and decision-making.
  • Digital Twin Generation. Provides data for 3D models of key assets and scenes that can enable up-to-date status tracking and integration in VR, game engines, and cultural heritage sites.
  • Inspection Reporting. Inspections performed by Drone Service Providers can standardize to the highest standard of quality and coverage.
  • Crime and Accident Scene Reconstruction. More rapid and complete documentation clears scenes faster while generating complete virtual records.

“We are extremely excited about the value that 3D Scan delivers. Manual drones lack the ability to see and understand the 3D nature of the world and, as a result, can't provide a scalable solution to replace traditional methods of inspection. With 3D Scan we are turning Skydio drones into intelligent scanning robots that can build real-time flight plans optimized to each scene, and generate the best possible photographic datasets.” - Hayk Martiros, VP of Autonomy, Skydio

3D Scan is adaptive mapping software that extends Skydio’s flight autonomy engine to generate tailored inspection flight paths in real time for digitization of any asset or scene. The technology comes to market battle-tested after months of trials with leading organizations, including Sundt Construction, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), and the Boston Police Department. Early access participants have reported up to 75% faster data capture, 50% greater inspection team output, and 30% lower reinspection rates (needing to refly the structure due to incomplete data on the first attempt) during the trial period.

“We have been amazed by the results we achieved using 3D Scan during the Early Access Program. Our teams will be able to get in the field faster and better serve our clients through the business development, operations, and close-out processes.” - Dean Miller, Virtual Construction Engineer, Sundt Construction

First responders will soon be able to store and manage chain of custody for their 3D Scan datasets using Skydio’s integration with Axon Evidence.com. This workflow gives public safety operators new tools for presenting full evidence of crime and accident scenes.

3D Scan is available for Skydio 2 now, with Skydio X2 availability coming soon. The software can be purchased as an optional add-on to any Skydio 2, starting at $2,999 per drone per year, or as part of new vehicle and software bundles.

Bentley Systems joins Skydio’s technology partner ecosystem as a preferred partner for photogrammetry

Skydio 3D Scan datasets can be used to generate 3D models through a growing ecosystem of 3D reconstruction engines, including Dronedeploy, RealityCapture, Bentley’s ContextCapture. The high-quality and accurate imagery from Skydio 3D Scan generates better 3D models than current manual drone workflows, which limit the performance of reconstruction engines.

“We are excited to partner with Skydio to help our users safely, reliably, and repeatedly generate the photo datasets required to create amazing 3D models and digital twins. Infrastructure assets like roads and bridges, rail and transit systems, utilities, and buildings and industrial facilities are very complicated and capturing them accurately and precisely is hard to do manually. Combining the Skydio drone automation with the high-performance and highly scalable 3D reconstruction capabilities of Bentley’s ContextCapture will enable our users to create great models, more frequently, and more cost effectively than before.” - Robert Mankowski, SVP of Digital Cities at Bentley

3D Scan Launch Event Details and Registration

Skydio has shared some of the unprecedented results that beta customers have achieved, garnering praise from drone industry publications. At today’s event, Skydio CEO, Adam Bry, will share additional details about 3D Scan and the company’s vision for autonomous drone inspection. Details about the event and registration can be found here.

About Skydio

Skydio is the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight. Skydio leverages breakthrough AI to create the world’s most intelligent flying machines for use by consumers, enterprises, and government customers. Founded in 2014, Skydio is made up of leading experts in AI, robotics, cameras, and electric vehicles from top companies, research labs, and universities from around the world. Skydio designs, assembles, and supports its products in the U.S. from its headquarters in Redwood City, CA, to offer the highest standards of supply chain and manufacturing security. Skydio is trusted by leading enterprises across a wide range of industry sectors and is backed by top investors and strategic partners including Andreessen Horowitz, Levitate Capital, Next47, IVP, Playground, and NVIDIA.

About Bentley Systems

Bentley Systems (Nasdaq: BSY) is the infrastructure engineering software company. We provide innovative software to advance the world’s infrastructure – sustaining both the global economy and environment. Our industry-leading software solutions are used by professionals, and organizations of every size, for the design, construction, and operations of roads and bridges, rail and transit, water and wastewater, public works and utilities, buildings and campuses, and industrial facilities. Our offerings include MicroStation-based applications for modeling and simulation, ProjectWise for project delivery, AssetWise for asset and network performance, and the iTwin platform for infrastructure digital twins. Bentley Systems employs more than 4,000 colleagues and generates annual revenues of more than $800 million, in 172 countries.

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