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Mapping using Parrot AR Drone 2.0 and AutoDESK 123D

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A Parrot AR Drone 2.0 was used to map a stockpile area on a civil engineering project. The video feed from the drone was captured at 0.5s intervals using FFMPEG and modeled using AutoDESK 123D Catch to create a 3D textured surface model.

Autonomous vehicles are not limited to aerial platforms; there are a host of AUVs (Autonomous Undersea Vehicles) that are not constrained by FAA policy. Most importantly, the next few years will see tremendous innovation in terms of UAV technology. There will be an explosion in applications, platforms and sensors. We'll cover these advances and updates on FAA policy as well.

To give you an idea of how many UAVs are already on the civilian market, check out the new market survey by Aerial Services. It lists more than 150 different models of UAS and dozens of UAS-sized sensors and photogrammetric software. The report is in a matrix-format listing manufacturer and type and includes a handy link for more information. Download the PDF market survey here(sign-up is required but the report is free).

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