Roof panel installers to benefit from 3-D vision

Researchers at Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Atlanta, GA, USA) led by Dr Ioannis Brilakis are investigating the possibility of developing a system that could create 3-D models of roofs from images captured by cameras.

Roof panel installers to benefit from 3-D vision
Roof panel installers to benefit from 3-D vision

Researchers at Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Atlanta, GA, USA) led by Dr Ioannis Brilakis are investigating the possibility of developing a system that could create 3-D models of roofs from images captured by cameras.

They believe that the technique would be capable of extracting as-built dimensions of a roof structure in a less expensive, faster, safer, and simpler fashion than existing techniques, while being able to satisfy the required level of accuracy.

In operation, the video-based roof surveying system would allow a roofing contractor to collect stereo videos from a roof using a camera and send it to a server. At the server, different visual features would be detected and matched across different views of the scene, allowing 3-D information to be extracted from it.

A 3-D wire diagram of the target roof would finally be generated. This could then be imported to an on-site roll forming machine to roll form and cut sheet metal coil into precise, ready-to-install roof panels.

This project has the potential to address the inherent deficiencies of the existing methods for roof surveying.

Compared to tape measuring, the use of the system would significantly reduce measuring costs and also eliminate the exposure of employees to falls, thereby decreasing the high number of occupational injuries and deaths which occur in the roofing industry.

Beyond the roofing industry, the system could be adapted to many other building trades where as-built documentation is required to build components.

-- by Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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