How Geotechs Can Use Drones & AI to Automate Conformance Reporting

September 12, 2023

Written by AUTHOR NAME

Geotechnical engineers can benefit from the integration of drones and artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline and automate their conformance reporting processes. Here are some of the best ways to leverage these technologies:

1. Data Collection with Drones:

Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and other sensors can be used to collect accurate geospatial data that enables detailed topography and 3D models for mapping of rock structure, as well as, measurement and assessment of as-built mine excavations. They can cover large areas quickly and efficiently, reducing the need for manual data collection in potentially hazardous environments. The latest autonomous drone technology such as RocketDNA’s X-Bot products enable this type of data to be collected more frequently and consistently without the need for a drone pilot on site.

2. AI-Powered Image Analysis:

AI algorithms can process the imagery captured by drones to identify and classify different geological features, such as soil types, rock formations, and potential hazards. This analysis can typically be completed a lot faster and more consistently than manual interpretation.

3. Automated Conformance Assessment:

Using AI, the conformance of as-built excavations can be assessed against pre-defined specifications or excavation designs, with automated visual and quantitative reporting of deviations or non-conformance issues using software tools, such as Strayos.

4. Real-Time Monitoring:

Drones can be deployed regularly to monitor ongoing construction or excavation projects – particularly autonomous drone systems such as the xBot which can be scheduled to capture data at regular intervals. This data may include high-resolution videos which can be viewed remotely by off-site geotechnical experts.

5. Reporting Automation:

AI can generate automated reports through software platforms, such as Strayos, based on the data collected and analysed. Here you can create a PDF report with relevant imagery and statistics to demonstrate the conformance of the as-built excavation to the design. These reports provide an accurate and effective means of communicating your mining performance to the appropriate managers, engineers, and operators. Finally, you can effortlessly share your reports and data internally through the web-based platform.

6. Risk Assessment:

AI can also assist in risk assessment by analysing as-built data and identifying areas of potential slope stability concern. The AI can rapidly identify the actual toe and crest locations and report visually and quantitatively on bench heights and face angles, inter ramp angles, effective catch berm widths, and over/under-break.

7. Cost and Time Savings:

The automation of data collection, analysis, and reporting can significantly reduce the time and cost associated with geotechnical conformance reporting, ultimately improving project efficiency.

It’s important to note that implementing drone and AI technologies in geotechnical engineering requires careful planning, investment in equipment and software, and expertise in data analysis and AI model development.

RocketDNA’s PitComply product can help you incorporate this into your operations. Simply upload your aerial data to Strayos to generate orthomosaics and DSMs from raw drone images which then enables reporting against your pit design. We offer support for setup, training, and on-site data capture through our AeroMap service if needed.