The plan to make drones a standard worksite tool

By on 19 July, 2017

A collaboration between two geospatial technology companies will allow construction and engineering professionals to collect survey-grade data for accurate estimations and machine guidance using remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, or drones).

Position technology powerhouse Trimble has partnered with Sydney-based startup Propeller Aero, the company behind Propeller RPAS data processing software and its smart AeroPoints. Propeller’s combined solution takes images captured from any drone platform and turns them into accurate 3D maps and models.

Trimble was actually an early customer of Propeller. Over the course of 2017, both companies have been working closely together to develop survey-grade drone data solutions for the heavy civil industries.

Paired with Propeller’s simple automated ground control targets, AeroPoints, the Propeller workflow will be connected to Trimble Connected Site solutions, bringing an end-to-end cloud-based RPAS solution to civil engineering and construction contractors.

Propeller is already being used by thousands of non-professionals and professionals in construction, mining, landfill and aggregates to measure distances, track changes, and integrate with other applications.

“Propeller combines ease of use with powerful analysis tools that allow users to view 2D and 3D deliverables and extract valuable information,” said Scott Crozier, director of marketing for Trimble Civil Engineering and Construction. “Like Trimble, Propeller understands the value of quality and accurate data for integration with civil engineering and construction workflows.”

Screenshots of the integrated Trimble-Propeller solution.

Pairing Propeller with Trimble Connected Site solutions gives users access to simple tools to measure surface geometry, track trends and changes across time and perform visual inspections. Both technical and non-technical professionals are expected to be able to gather insights remotely and collaborate.

Rory San Miguel, CEO of Propeller Aero, launched the company in Sydney 2014 shortly after finishing university. San Miguel says the Trimble partnership will have a global impact by bringing a new class of location information.

“We pride ourselves in taking the most trusted, technical data and tools and wrapping that up in an easy-to-use online platform that is relevant to the entire organisation, not just technical users, San Migeul said. “Working closely with Trimble demonstrates a shared commitment to achieving that vision.”

“Integrating our platform into Trimble’s Connected Site solutions will bring a new class of information to construction sites and organisations globally.”

The news coincides with Propeller’s official expansion into the United States, the home country of Trimble. Propeller’s new North American headquarters are in Denver, Colorado, and it is here the company plans to grow a team of experts to roll out its solutions into larger markets.

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