AR technology to help workers ‘see’ underground facilities tested


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Augmented reality (AR) technology that helps workers visualize underground facilities is being piloted by contractor Morrison Utility Services in partnership with the Vinci-owned Eurovia UK highway specialist. The couple is deploying a technology Eurovia developed called Enhanced Underground Services (Avus) visualization in action for Thames Water and Yorkshire Water clients. Avus enables site workers to set and display underground services via Android smartphones or tablets. The pipeline and cable layout can be displayed in the form of a 2D plan or a 3D drawing superimposed on the device’s camera view, using real-time augmented reality technologies. The companies said the ability to display CAD drawings synchronized with the worker’s real location and movement at the site was expected to reduce accidental damage during excavations. The Avus System can also be used to capture detailed 3D records of any work performed prior to pothole filling. This is expected to improve data accuracy for any future work on the same site. Morrison Utility Services said in a statement that the technology can locate underground elements with a 5 cm tolerance. Requires Android 7 device from Google. A handheld positioning bracket is also needed to provide maximum accuracy. The first successful trial of this technology was carried out by Morrison Utility Services at a Thames Water Job in South London last October. Andy Carter, Director of IT, Innovation and Improvement at Morrison Utility Services, said the technology rollout was “born out of real-world business challenges” and that Avus’ augmented reality facilities represented “a true game-changer.” “When we developed Avus technology, we always knew that it would have a huge impact on the safety and success of planning and programming businesses,” added Eurovia UK Innovation Director Yogesh Patel. Prior to the shutdown last year, Construction News saw the use of augmented reality technology on site in a central London complex by contractor Multiplex, using technology provided by the Danish company Dalux.


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