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Proceq parent company Tectus to lead development of autonomous drones for asset inspection

July 11, 2017

Tectus Dreamlab and the National University of Singapore’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering develop autonomous drones using artificial intelligence for building inspection, with funding support by the Building and Construction Authority under the 2-Stage Innovation Grant (iGrant)

A Tectus Dreamlab collaboration with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS) on an autonomous drone project, supported by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), is set to revolutionize construction engineering and asset management while drastically increasing productivity and driving down inspection and maintenance costs.

The project will see the development of self-fly drones on building construction sites to collect photographic data. The drones will be able to fly to multiple floors autonomously and automatically generate a report containing the images with their specific locations.>

Craig Rice, Executive Director of Tectus Dreamlab explained: “A key factor is that our drone is being developed to operate without GPS or other external positioning aids. It will be equipped to perform autonomous defect detection without human assistance or intervention.”

A primary objective of this project is to increase the potential use for drones in building construction by achieving autonomous indoor navigation and drone flight - without an operator and without requiring access to GPS, Wi-Fi or beacons. While unmanned aerial vehicles - or drones - are increasingly being used in construction, primarily flying outdoors, these are remotely controlled by a drone operator and have mission planning based on GPS data.

Next generation inspection and maintenance solutions leveraging cloud computing, virtual and augmented reality and machine learning are already in progress for the development of the Screening Eagle Platform at Tectus Dreamlab.

Marcel Poser, Tectus Group CEO added: “The Screening Eagle platform leverages decades of experience in international property development and management, construction engineering, and materials testing within Tectus Group companies such as the BBR Group, which includes the Global BBR Network and Singapore-based BBR Holdings, and the Proceq Group. For Tectus Dreamlab, it is just the beginning of many next-generation initiatives to lead the digital industrial age and to serve global markets.”

Professor David Chua Kim Huat of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NUS said: “The team at NUS welcomes the opportunity to collaborate in this leading edge project supported by the BCA that will deliver globally important technology and will radically improve the way world infrastructure is maintained. We share the vision with Tectus Dreamlab of innovating for a better future and, like the Tectus Group, also bring to the table many years of experience in this market sector.”

Mr. Tan Tian Chong, Deputy Managing Director of BCA Built Environment Research and Innovation Institute said: “The use of drone technology could help to ensure consistent quality, improve productivity and enhance the safety of assessors. We are heartened to see such co-development efforts between private companies and academia in bringing about next-generation technologies that could change the way we build and manage our built environment productively. This move is in line with BCA’s Construction Productivity R&D roadmap where BCA is providing funding to firms for technology adoption to drive higher productivity improvements in the built environment sector.”