Justin Simkins, Technical Specialist
Mining engineers and surveyors are usually assigned to inspect inaccessible areas in mines and ensure that sudden falls of ground do not endanger personnel lives. However, even in the era of smart handheld devices, mining surveyors rely on bulky mapping equipment with increased risk, subpar portability, time-consuming scanning processes, and poor mapping capabilities for their day-to-day activities.
Flipping this script with Hovermap ST, an intelligent mobile scanning unit that enables surveyors to accurately, rapidly, and safely perform surface and underground mapping, is Emesent.
“Our mission is to make autonomous mapping technology easy to use, especially in inaccessible and hazardous environments. making the mapping process easier, reducing the chances of survey errors and unexpected accidents,” says Justin Simkins, technical specialist at Emesent.
Easily mounted on a drone, Hovermap ST is an aerial payload that accurately scans hazardous and GPS-denied environments. It combines collision avoidance and autonomous flight technologies with SLAM-based Lidar mapping to offer 360-degree field of view (FOV) scanning capabilities and generate accurate color 3D point clouds of the environment. This enables surveyors to capture highresolution data in previously inaccessible areas in real time without endangering their lives.
Hovermap ST’s autonomy provides two distinct advantages. Pilot Assist Mode provides surveyors omni-directional collision avoidance in line of sight flights, and GPS-denied flight capability. The Pilot Assist Mode gives surveyors and engineers the confidence and stability to conduct thorough inspections and create digital twins while the drone is within sight. Hovermap ST acts as a virtual safety bubble that detects and avoids obstacles to prevent the drone from collisions.
Using its Autonomous Waypoints Mode, surveyors can map environments beyond their line-of-sight through smart waypoints that enable them to fly an entire mission, from take-off to landing, using a connected tablet. Through this capability, surveyors can tap on the map to set smart waypoints before Hovermap ST autonomously navigates to the waypoints and provides a real-time view of the area of interest.
Setting Hovermap ST apart from its contemporaries is its ability to go beyond developing drone payloads with leading manufacturers and add a higher level of automation and safety to mine surveillance. Besides its automation and safety prowess, Hovermap ST showcases unrivaled speed when collecting highquality data, allowing surveyors to spend less time underground and get the required information at their fingertips in a single fly-by. This competency minimizes a surveyor’s risk while enabling a detailed point cloud built on accurate and real-time datasets.
Equally capable of supporting above-ground and underground mining, Hovermap ST’s plug-and-play design provides extreme modularity and flexibility for surveyors to mount the device on any vehicle, tether, or backpack and capture high-resolution point clouds when flying, driving, or walking. This versatility enables surveyors to scan and create digital twins of any asset, including bridges, buildings, communications towers, tunnels, and other structures.
Our mission is to make autonomous mapping technology easy to use, especially in inaccessible and hazardous environments. Making the mapping process easier, reducing the chances of survey errors and unexpected accidents
At the heart of its unmatched competencies is Emesent’s comprehensive understanding of mining surveyors’ prevalent problems, which is powered by a core tenet of never being satisfied with the status quo. This has allowed it to consistently develop innovative scanning technologies that are easier, more reliable, and safer than conventional mapping equipment.
Following this path, Emesent has launched a new product, Hovermap ST-X, a Hovermap variant with a sensing range of 300 meters, improved accuracy, and a Long-Range Radio add-on, which increases the communication range twenty-fold. Another recently released solution is the Aura platform, which will allow the processing and visualization of scans in one intuitive platform, streamlining the way Hovermap users process, view, and analyze point clouds for faster insights and improved decision-making.
Through these endeavors, Emesent is committed to raising the bar for drone autonomy and expanding the horizons of mining surveillance through accurate and reliable digital mapping.