Robot Dogs & 360 Walkthroughs: The New Face of Jobsite Monitoring in 2022

Robot dogs, 360 cameras and cutting-edge software mean you can sniff out an advantage for construction site monitoring. Now, you can automate your 360 virtual walkthroughs with robots on the ground as opposed to just drones in the air. 

Sounds like sci-fi? With an Insta360 camera, the DroneDeploy Ground Robotics solution and Boston Dynamics’ Spot – it’s a walk in the park. In this post, we’ll show you how it all fits together and how you can deploy a similar solution. We’ll also spare you the puns from here on out. 

dronedeploy boston dynamics robot 360 walkthroughs

What is a virtual walkthrough? 

To put it in layman's terms, a virtual walkthrough is a captured 360 video tour of your jobsite that is digitally reconstructed to produce a 3D virtual tour in a digital twin. Typically used in construction, they allow workers to collaborate from any location, exploring the site in a high-quality 360-degree interactive experience. 

They make comparisons with the original design easy, allow for issues to be resolved faster and make reworks much less likely to be required. 

But tracking the progress of construction projects is also notoriously difficult. Especially if tracking is required on a daily basis, human workers struggle to scan entire buildings consistently due to the time it takes. Keeping an accurate record of changes against design models can also be problematic. And the larger the project is, costs and challenges can rise exponentially. 

That’s why an autonomous 360 virtual walkthrough using robots is the perfect tool for capturing site reality data on construction sites. 

What do you need to create a 360 virtual walkthrough?  

There are three main things you’ll need to create a 360 virtual walkthrough: your robot for on-the-ground movement, an Insta360 camera for high-quality capture and DroneDeploy’s software to make site reality capture and collaboration simple. Let’s take a look at each of those three elements in more detail. 

Step 1: The robot dog – Boston Dynamics’ Spot 

Made world famous in 2016 by Boston Dynamics, the affably named “Spot” is a quadruped robot that excels in maneuvering unpredictable and difficult terrain. Its dexterity and ability to automate routes through tough spaces make it the ideal candidate for jobsite monitoring. With Spot, you can accurately and frequently capture the reality of your jobsite and act on the valuable data insights you get. 

robot construction jobsite monitoring

Why use robots instead of other solutions?

While the use of drones is still a remarkably efficient way to capture and digitally reconstruct sites, ground robots allow for the mapping of interior and exterior environments where the use of a drone isn't plausible. Some benefits of robotics include:

  • Navigation: With its quadruped form, Spot can navigate all kinds of environments, walk on uneven surfaces and even climb stairs. 
  • Consistency: You can pre-plan routes with waypoints set for Spot to follow autonomously. Compared with error-prone and arduous human inspections, Spot will scan the exact same locations from the same angle every time. This ensures progress can be tracked against a design model more accurately and consistently.
  • 24/7 continuous monitoring: Robots save workers from doing highly repetitive, mundane work – or navigating hazardous environments, and can be deployed on a predefined schedule that suits.

Step 2: The camera - Insta360 RS 1-Inch 360 Edition

To capture a 360 virtual walkthrough of a constantly changing jobsite, you need a camera that can deliver clean, stabilized and crisp footage in tough conditions. 360 cameras can be limited if they’re low resolution, lack good stabilization or have smaller sensors resulting in overexposed images. 

insta360 one rs 1-inch 360 camera 360 walkthrough

Especially in changing lighting conditions, the Insta360 RS 1-Inch 360 Edition is uniquely positioned to tackle each of these issues. Now that the 1-Inch 360 Edition is fully integrated with DroneDeploy, all you need to do is mount it atop Spot and your shots will pop. 

Step 3: The software - DroneDeploy 

Once Spot and your Insta360 are ready to go, DroneDeploy’s Ground Robotics solution enables you to pre-plan an entire inspection route through your jobsite, making it easier than it's ever been to capture data.

Connecting an Insta360 camera and DroneDeploy’s software is seamless. Using the WiFi emitted by the Insta360 camera, the app quickly pairs and generates a live 360 view. Teams can then select a project, starting location and floor plan to map the walkthrough. 

Dronedeploy app and insta360 one rs 1-inch 360 walkthrough

With photo and video geotagging, quality issues can be easily identified and workers can easily be dispatched with the right tools to resolve any issues. The visual records can also be used for as-built drawings and auditable records.

With a simple link, stakeholders can view progress on a construction project from anywhere in the world and see daily progress. Both owners and general contractors benefit from the increased trust and transparency of the visual system. 

Juneau Construction uses this workflow to gain quick feedback from project owners. In fact, on one 1.1 million square foot residential, retail and parking complex, remote surveying was critical to their success. In this instance, by utilizing this exact integration, project teams and managers were able to keep track of a 1500 cubic yard stockpile, even knowing where the soil was on any given day via weekly reports and progress updates.

juneau construction jobsite monitoring

Why choose Insta360 RS 1-Inch 360 for your virtual walkthrough? 

1-inch sensors and AI shooting 

Jobsites are unpredictable. Lighting conditions can change as your robot moves between rooms and from indoors to out. Without large sensors, your shots can become poorly exposed, especially in low-light conditions. Insta360 fixes this with 1-inch sensors and the AI-assisted PureShot for shooting multiple HDR images and combining them for a cleaner result in your walkthrough. Essential for spotting any issues or design discrepancies. 

6K 360 Video

6K 360 video quality helps you capture every detail for your walkthroughs. This is crucial for a clear digital reconstruction for your team to use to visualize data and collaborate. 

FlowState Stabilization 

Shaky shots from moving across tough terrain can result in blurred and warped images. ONE RS has industry-leading stabilization built via years on end of iteration across a whole line of cameras that can handle the most rigorous of action sports. When applied to your walkthrough, smooth shots are a breeze. 

Full integration with DroneDeploy

Integration with the leading, enterprise-grade reality capture platform, your digital reconstruction workflow is made simple – saving time and money along the way.

Where can get I started with 360 virtual walkthroughs? 

We’re excited to see how ground automation takes hold. Insta360, DroneDeploy and Boston Dynamics are on the cutting edge. Here’s where you can learn more about each to see how the space develops and get started creating your own virtual walkthroughs.

Contact DroneDeploy to learn more about DroneDeploy for construction.
Shop Insta360 RS 1-Inch 360 today at the Insta360 store.

Keen to keep up to date on Insta360 stories? Keep an eye on our blog and sign up for our mailing list. You can also contact our Enterprise team directly to see how 360 cameras can benefit your business.

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WRITTEN BY @Insta360
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