Trimble releases autonomous robotic scanning solution

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Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot integrated with Trimble X7 3D Laser Scanner and Trimble FieldLink Software


Trimble has released a ‘turnkey solution’ for autonomous robotic scanning which integrates the Trimble X7 3D laser scanner and Trimble FieldLink software with Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot.

Jointly developed with Boston Dynamics, the solution is designed to facilitate autonomous operation on construction sites, taking advantage of the robot’s capabilities to navigate challenging, dynamic and potentially unsafe environments.

The autonomous workflow for the X7 3D laser scanner uses ‘fully integrated’ Spot robot controls in Trimble FieldLink to create a predefined path of waypoints for Spot to follow and collect laser scans. The data collection missions can be scheduled to run on a regular and consistent basis for design validation and progress reporting.

Laser scans  can be tied to a jobsite project coordinate system, as well as individual scan stations. The data is collected, and then made into a composite point cloud in real-time on the Trimble tablet controller before leaving the site.

While performing autonomous operations, Spot’s docking station enables the in-field charging of batteries on both the robot and the X7 3D laser scanner, and also provides the continuous transfer of data through a Gigabit Ethernet connection to the office.

“The relationship between Trimble and Boston Dynamics is really special. Users don’t have to figure out the integration of the scanner. It also enables us to work with only one vendor,” said Thai Nguyen, director of virtual design and construction, Hensel Phelps.

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“Using the X7 integrated with Spot lets us document changes on the jobsite and make important decisions in the field, rather than waiting hours or potentially days for the information to be relayed to our project staff. This allows us to make the best decisions as quickly as possible with the best information.”

“Our construction customers require turnkey solutions for autonomous jobsite documentation and analysis,” said Brian Ringley, construction product manager at Boston Dynamics. “Boston Dynamics’ strategic alliance with Trimble has allowed us to build that solution collaboratively by combining our strengths in robotics and construction, respectively.

“This unique integration is simply unprecedented—it’s never been easier to scan a jobsite, and the increased scanning frequency is creating new opportunities in automated project analysis and insight.”

Read this AEC Magazine article to find out more

Trimble spot
Spot’s docking station enables the in-field charging of batteries on both the robot and the laser scanner, and also provides the continuous transfer of data through a Gigabit Ethernet connection to the office

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