Hoverscape – Trendspek


1.1 Project Summary

Hoverscape transforms raw drone data into detailed, digital asset replicas. Hoverscape allows inspections to be conducted on lifelike ‘digital twins’, boosting productivity and profitability for anyone responsible for the management or maintenance of physical assets.

 We empower asset managers with a deeper understanding, to make better decisions, optimise strategies and improve collaboration.

Our solution was derived through direct consultation with asset managers and consists of:

  • Ultra-detailed 3D models with 1mm per pixel resolution captured by drone
  • The Trendspek platform delivering the ability to virtually inspect, analyse and monitor trends. It features a suite of powerful tools, including unmatched sharing and collaboration features


2.1 Development Philosophy

The use of drones is becoming increasingly common within asset management. However, it’s clear that current use is limited to replacing traditional inspections methods with something faster and safer – simply a new tool to do an old job. The industry was missing a golden opportunity to collect valuable new data that could provide real insight.

This shortfall was Hoverscape’s call to action.

We are passionate about using drones to provide asset information that delivers new insights. We empower asset managers with comprehensive data on their asset that is detailed, consistent, repeatable and highly actionable.

2.2 Resolution and Detail

Throughout 2018, Hoverscape was tasked with completing the routine inspection of a series of industrial warehouses.

While the imagery proved useful, a request for even more detail was made to aid in identifying detail such as the corrosion on an individual bolt head. This request is common – managers often ask for greater levels of detail and are often told those levels are unachievable across large assets in their entirety.

When using photographic data, current standard practice was to capture resolutions or ground sample distances (GSD) in excess of 20mm per pixel.

Based on our client’s needs, we decided to target consistent captures at 1mm per pixel.

The ability to deliver 3D digital reconstructions at this resolution was unprecedented and raised several challenges:

  • Flights must be conducted at a very precise and consistent distance to the structure
  • Camera technology is limited to what is compatible with current drone hardware
  • Without very accurate position information; imagery is difficult to align when creating 3D models

We subsequently spent much of 2018 solving these challenges – something that no other organisation has achieved in a consistent and scalable way.

Our solution to capturing the required quality of data was achieved through the development of a customised drone system capable of:

  • Providing redundancy to prevent a single source of failure and protecting valuable assets
  • Incorporating industrial camera systems to achieve required resolutions
  • Use of survey accurate GPS systems to provide positional and camera direction data

Figure 1 – Example of ultra-detail 3D Model

2.3 Transforming photographic data into actionable data

The inherent challenge using drone imagery for asset inspection and management is that they typically deliver a very large number of similar looking images. They lack context to asset position, they are cumbersome, and difficult to sort and manage. The result being they are of limited use and value to an asset manager for completing inspections and monitoring trends. (See Figure 2)

Figure 2 – Traditional Image Delivery: Folders of Photos

Figure 3 – Our Image Delivery: Clear and Intuitive 3D Model

Without an existing solution available, Hoverscape set out to develop a platform to deliver 3D models in a way that is highly intuitive and simple to use. (Figure 3)

The functions and features were developed in direct response to feedback fromclients – real asset managers with real assets.

Many drone solutions are developed for drone operators, who are not actually the end user. For us, it was important to build the feature set that our clients needed to better manage their assets, derive value and create new efficient workflows.

This development is called Trendspek – an asset inspection platform built to transform drone data into a complete solution.

Figure 4 – The Trendspek interface (Note clicking image links to a video)

Key Features of Trendspek

  • Host an entire portfolio of assets as ‘digital twins’
  • Easily search, view or filter an entire asset portfolio via a responsive dashboard
  • Navigate and view ultra-detail 3D models of assets in a simple web browser
  • Inspect and organise using annotation cards
  • Classify annotation cards using user definable fields and parameters, then filter annotations using these classifications
  • Powerful trend analysis toolkit
  • Assign personnel to each annotation or defect
  • View root causes of defects using historical dataset analysis
  • Presentation ready PDF reports that summarise inspection findings at click of button
  • Expansive collaboration tools including “in-annotation” chat

Figure 5 – The Hoverscape | Trendspek workflow

2.4 Benefits of the Hoverscape | Trendspek solution

Hoverscape’s complete solution provides an asset manager the ability to overcome existing challenges in inspection along with the ongoing management of asset information.

  1. Managers can now interact with their asset in an intuitive and digestible format, rather than folders of images, or unusable low-fidelity model recreations. (See Figure 2 and Figure 3)
  2. Managers are able to easily identify trends and be proactive in maintenance rather than reactive. This reduces both cost and risk while enhancing asset performance over time.  
  3. Managers now have a single, non-subjective source of truth in relation to the condition of the asset. Unreliable, incomplete or handwritten inspection notes are no longer required
  4. Every inspection is comprehensive and complete. The entire asset is captured at high resolution. This data forms an unbiased history of the condition of the asset. This provides assurance when compared to typical “spot check” type inspections that are regularly carried out. Inspections can now be more consistent, more predictable, more thorough and more efficient.
  5. Measurement of actual vs. claimed life expectancy of products or components E.G paint 
  6. Reduced exposure to liability due to the comprehensive nature of the data
  7. Communication tools built into Trendspek allows managers to save time engaging various stakeholders. This means collaboration is both more likely, and more effective.

2.5 Collaboration

We are continually told by our clients that collaboration between managers, stakeholders and contractors is difficult as no single point of reference exists. Emails, meeting notes, plans and reports are often missed, overlooked or misunderstood. This is despite the widely agreed importance of such collaboration and communication.

Hearing this feedback, we included a powerful collaboration layer in Trendspek, allowing this vital flow of information to occur organically within the platform. Trendspek data provides information in context, that is easily understood by all involved. Stakeholders can share and chat live about asset data and analysis findings, enabling effective collaboration from anywhere, any time.

Collaboration tools include:

  • Live team discussions contained in annotation cards pinned directly on the model (Figure 6)
  • Instant sharing of information
  • File and document upload and storage
  • Easily coordinate internal and external teams through use comprehensive user permissions

Figure 6 – Annotation specific chat functionality

2.7 Feature Deep Dive – Asset Timeline

As a result of the collaborative approach we took to the project’s management and development, Trendspek contains a several unique features, to allow managers to gain a greater understanding of their asset than previously possible. Our Asset Timeline is an example of this; it provides two distinct methods to compare multiple captures of the same asset. This allows the manager to compare them in their entirety, to better identify trends.

The first way to use Asset Timeline is with a slider that allows you move through historical captures viewing the same angle of the model while you slide through time. Annotations and measurements made on the model also move through time with you, making comparisons and trend monitoring seamless. This is demonstrated in Figure 7, and in the video linked by clicking the image.

Figure 7 – Asset timeline Linear view (Note clicking image links to video)

The second way Asset Timeline can be used is with synchronised side-by-side viewing. This feature can be seen in Figure 8, and in the video linked by clicking the image.

Figure 8 – Side-by-side Asset Timeline (Note clicking image links to video)

Asset Timeline is a tool that has received significant positive feedback from managers. It allows managers and engineers to be more proactive in understanding the history of a defect or issue and where that is likely to lead. Additionally, it provides a source of information that allows a company to adhere to the principle of being a “learning organisation”.

Using tools like Asset Timeline, managers are able to learn more about their assets, and in turn are able to do more in terms of managing them. All of which assists in reducing cost and risk, while ensuring the asset is performing optimally.

2.8 Benefits – Case Study

This case study demonstrates how ultra-detail 3D models helped a client prepare and plan a major water infrastructure remediation project, prior to gaining site access.

Our client, a leading construction firm, had been tasked with the inspection and remediation of a large freestanding water reservoir. During the early stages of the project planning, the asset owner had not finalised access to the water tower and had clearly stated that the access ladders on the tower could not be used to check the top surface of the tower in preparation for the project.

Our client engaged us to produce an ultra-detail model of the tower, seen in Figure 9 below.

Figure 9 – Freestanding water tower | 3D Model

Using the 3D model and Trendspek’s measurement, annotation and collaboration tools, our client was able to:

  • Determine access
  • Determine the condition of the ladder structure
  • Observe and inspect the top surface of the tower which had not been inspected for some time (Figure 10)
  • Conduct an entire inspection of the exterior of the tower, and determine many of the remediation requirements, assisting in planning
  • Share the inspection findings with exactly the right people and produce clear, simple reports to communicate their findings

Figure 10 – Inspection of water tower access conditions


3.1 Trendspek Demonstration Media

This section is a collection of video demonstrations, some of which are found earlier in the submission.

3.1.1 Video Demonstrations

Trendspek was designed to be used visually so the best way to gain an understanding is through a live demo or via a video. Linked below are a series of videos showing short workflows within the platform.

Example of model detail and original image viewing

Example of annotation card workflow

Example of synced side-by-side viewing for comparison purposes

Example of construction site progress monitoring

3.1.2 Data quality and detail

This example shows the basic initial layout of Trendspek, as well as an example of the detail found as you zoom in on a model. Note that the second image is a zoom in on the indicated section of tank.

Figure 11 – Wide angle view of 3D model

Figure 12 – Close up view of the same 3D model

3.1.3 Defect annotations

This example shows the annotation card workflow. Clicking on the annotation tool (top centre menu bar) allows you place an annotation card anywhere on the model. Annotation cards are very flexible and customisable. They can be classified by type, severity plus two additional user-editable fields.

The report produced contains any defects selected using a variety of filters. For example, you could filter annotations by contractor, and then produce specific reports for each contractor, which contains only the defects or areas of attention relevant to them.

Figure 13 – Annotation card example showing classification matrix and notes on Defect tab

3.1.4 Original Image Viewing

Trendspek provides the user with an easy way to view the original images associated with any area of the model. Simply right-click on a point on the model and all the images that contain that point will become visible.

Figure 14 – Original image viewer. Note 3D model visible on left, original image visible on right

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