Day three I concentrated on final visits with companies, but I did find a few new things and take more detailed pictures of things that I thought others would be interested in. At noon I left to walk downtown to look for a few presents.
One thing that I found interesting was I don’t think that there was another US dealer at the show that was not also a part of a display booth. It could certainly be possible that I did not run into them. My friend Brian (a Utah Surveyor) went with me and I believe that he could have been the only US surveyor at the show as an attendee (again, there were a few working booths for the companies that they sell for.) At the show conclusion both of us thought that the show was totally-completely worth the trouble. We both got a perspective that we would not have gotten otherwise.
My UAV conclusions: On Tuesday I made a quick pass through the UAV centric hall (which is slightly misleading as there were a lot of UAV’s in all the halls.) I made an initial conclusion about them: “NO”. After three days and a better perspective it is my conclusion that there are about 100 european manufacturers who are all competing with DJI.
Last week Trimble announced that they are jettisoning Gatewing, which I think is a good decision because the flying hardware is a total commodity.
I did meet some young businessmen who are building replacement parts for DJI and their own line of disposable drones. Basically they make the parts for a full drone, minus motors and control for much less than $50. Fly them a few times and toss them.
They will be successful with this model. I am interested in this.
If you need a big drone (like one with a gas motor) there are other players who make them, but for a surveyor they are not in play.
There were also some killer trick cameras that do multi-band. These are pretty cool too.
Having dished the hardware, I will say that I met 5 different companies that are making fantastic alternatives to Pix4D. And instead of being ‘whatever centric’ Pix4D is, they are survey/engineering centric. Much better registration, control and interchange with standard survey tools. Different licensing models too. I am very interested in this segment of the drone world.
I hate to stay this, but the drones are a total commodity like toilet paper. You are going to be able buy decent drones at a corner supertore.
Here are yet more drone / UAV pictures from Thursday:
Here is a wider shot of the robot with two GPS receivers mounted on the back of a 4-wheeler:
I found another source of some really nifty prisms, targets and well machined accessories:
I guess these are for putting down on the road to monitor the lanes on a bridge
These are pretty cool prisms too
At the Genecq booth (they are from Canada) I found the Gintec G10. Gintec is a sub-brand of Unistrong. This receiver is in the same case as the Carlson BRX6 (so much for an exclusive) but it uses the Trimble BD-970 engine instead of the Hemisphere developed engine.
They also had a cool little 7-watt repeater (I assume that it is also built by Unistrong):
At the Nikon corner of the Spectra Precision corner of the Trimble booth:
Which is targeted at precision vision applications like looking at crack expansion on bridge columns and decks.
I also spoke at length with the Geo++ folks
who make the server software for building RTK networks (it competes with Trimble VRS products.) They also perform (essentially) all of the absolute antenna calibrations.
I got interested in their deployed networks and took pictures of all of them along with a short paper on PPP/RTK:
Iran / Korea (hopefully South?)
Germany / Netherlands
Netherhlands / Europe (different networks)
Spain / Italy
Austria / France
Belgium / Hungary
Finland / Iceland
Turkey / Brazil
more Brazil, Canada
Canada, USA (partial)
Hong Kong, Israel, Japan
Taiwan, Sri Lanka
This looks like a pretty nice rail mapping fixture:
In every booth that did mobile mapping (like mapping from a vehicle) the only lidar of note was Velodyne:
Finally some pictures from our walk downtown. This interlocking manhole is pretty neat. Here in SLC, they either weld or tar them down. This would be a good alternative. (My family used to own the local foundry, so apparently I have an inbred fetish for steel lids.)
Yes, they have really good bread and pastries. In fact, I am thinking of returning on a dedicated donut sampling tour.
This is the city hall, framed by the columns on a canal facing walk.