Little Ripper Life Saver | The Ripper Group an early adopter with CSIRO Data61
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The Ripper Group an early adopter with CSIRO Data61

New SLAM-based lidar mapping and autonomy payload for industrial drones

Brisbane, Australia. May 19 2017.

CSIRO’s Data61 has selected the Ripper Group as an early adopter for their revolutionary Hovermap™ drone payload which dramatically improves the value of drone based asset inspection and mapping. This technology delivers new, never seen before capabilities to customers in industries such as mining and telecommunications.

With the ever-increasing need for automation in challenging industrial settings, Hovermap delivers fully autonomous inspection and mapping capabilities that are unsurpassed in accuracy and ease of use.

In the mining industry Hovermap provides mapping of drives and stopes, a particularly hazardous activity for humans, increasing safety and reducing time for mapping. In the telecommunications area Hovermap dramatically reduces the time and cost for maintenance inspections of the burgeoning number of cell towers in use today.

By using a single lidar and advanced algorithms to provide SLAM-based mapping, omnidirectional collision avoidance, GPS-denied flight and advanced autonomy, Hovermap enables drones to autonomously explore and map complex 3D environments even where GPS is unavailable. Valuable data that would otherwise be impossible to collect can therefore be collected in a safe, repeatable and efficient way.

The core technology for Hovermap has been developed in Australia at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization (CSIRO) by a team of world-leading researchers in SLAM and drone autonomy. The development has been backed by CSIRO’s Data61 business unit and the CSIRO ON accelerator.

The Little Ripper Group are successfully using Hovermap for mapping and inspection of infrastructure, telecommunication towers, construction sites, underground and open-cut mines and railway tunnels and bridges. For all of these applications, autonomy and GPS-denied flight will be essential or add significant value.

The early adopter program of which the Ripper Group was one of 4 companies participating, is providing vital learnings for us as we prepare to commercialise Hovermap. It is helping us to validate the product-market fit and learn where Hovermap provides the greatest value. We’ll iterate and adapt to ensure we’re solving real problems in these markets,” explains Dr Stefan Hrabar, Principal Research Scientist at Data61 and Hovermap Project Leader.

The autonomy and collision avoidance provided by Hovermap in these environments is critical to ensuring mission success. We have already put Hovermap to work by conducting underground mapping in a mine stope which we believe is a world first.”

“The Little Ripper Group, with its cutting edge deployment across the challenging environments that we face daily in our core business areas of Search and Rescue, disaster and/or flood survey, and agricultural/horticultural work was a very good match with Hovermap. We’ve quickly embraced the technology and celebrate the opportunity to join the Early Adopter Program,” said The Ripper Group CEO. Eddie Bennet.

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