New technology is often greeted with suspicion by its target market. Getting over the skepticism requires years in some cases all while the early adopters are gaining the benefits. Developers can field various ways to convince market leaders to try their technology, but demonstrations are probably the best method. That’s one reason trade shows are so popular: cruise the floor, check out the demos, and get hands-on experiences.
Although heavy equipment manufacturers put on demonstrations in those same trade shows, the add-on suppliers—those with technologies that work with that equipment but are not vended by the OEMs (original-equipment manufacturers)—to make side deals to be seen. The answer some companies are finding is to establish their own test sites. Demonstration sites are a great way for customers and employees to assess and test new technology under real-life conditions.
For example, Hexagon’s Geosystems division opened a newly enhanced test site in Denmark where customers, partners and employees will be able to experience the company’s heavy construction solutions in a real-world environment. The “T-Site” is located at Hexagon’s machine control facility in Odense, Denmark.
The new testing ground synthesizes research and cutting-edge product development into an experiential site that showcases Hexagon’s innovative culture and experience as well as its advanced technologies and unique capabilities through hands-on exploration. The enhanced T-Site is an important foundation for the research and development of the company’s heavy construction solution portfolio, including established brands such as Leica Geosystems and AGTEK. It is also an environment where employees, customers, and partners from around the world can meet, learn and shape the future of heavy construction.
The T-Site allows customers and prospects to test Hexagon’s hardware and software solutions in an environment that closely mimics real-world conditions. Visitors can benefit from a personalized hands-on experience, diving into all aspects of digital construction from field to office and from start to finish, while experimenting with sensors, software, and cloud solutions. In addition, the T-Site bolsters collaboration with OEMs and distribution partners to further develop important initiatives related to safety, sustainability, and autonomy.
Hexagon is a global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software, and autonomous technologies. So is Leica Geosystems, a division of Hexagon. And if test facilities help heavy equipment shoppers find technology as well as equipment, some of the newest technology can fly right by them.
Take the Leica BLK2FLY. This is an autonomous flying laser scanner with advanced obstacle avoidance for easy reality capture from the sky. It captures building exteriors, structures, and environments to create 3D point clouds while flying. The BLK2FLY is designed to be easy-to-use: with a few simple taps on a tablet, users can set the BLK2FLY to autonomously scan building exteriors and features, such as hard-to-access areas like rooftops and facades.
Deploying the device itself is as easy as unfolding it, switching it on with the press of a button and placing it on the ground, ready for takeoff. The BLK2FLY autonomous flying laser scanner:
- Allows you to scan hard-to-reach areas like building facades and rooftops
- Autonomously captures complete scans of building exteriors to create 3D digital twins
- Fuses LiDAR, radar, cameras, and GNSS for complete scan coverage, optimized flight paths, and shortest return to home
- Advanced obstacle avoidance for superior flight safety
- Has a hot swap battery system
- Is lightweight, portable, easy to use
Users control the BLK2FLY through the BLK2FLY Live App on a tablet for simplified, app-based flying with no need for prior UAV/drone experience. This allows for easy, intuitive control of the BLK2FLY, including live camera feed. You can select an area within the map on your tablet and the BLK2FLY will create its own flight path to scan it quickly and safely. You can also tap-to-scan: simply send the BLK2FLY to scan a new area by tapping anywhere on the 3D view in the app.
Tap the App
The BLK2FLY Live App also allows you to pilot the BLK2FLY manually with virtual joysticks on your tablet. This critical safety feature always keeps you in control. And for connectivity, the BLK2FLY includes WLAN and LTE communication channels to the tablet for nearly unlimited communication range during flight.
The BLK2FLY makes it easy to get data into the preferred software and to share scans with others. It also works seamlessly with other Leica Geosystems sensors and software. Data can be directly uploaded to HxDR with automatic conversion to OBJ and cloud-based visualization, and it also allows others to access and work with the data, including data download, via HxDR. Or transfer data to Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 with USB-C or WLAN for scan-to-BIM workflows.
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