Contractors trial 3D smartphone ‘X-ray vision’ of buried services

Aaron Morby 2 months ago
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Morrison Utility Services and Eurovia UK are trialing new technology that gives workers a 3D picture of underground services on smartphones to help avoid cable and pipework strikes.

New augmented technology is building up a 3D image of underground services in the street
New augmented technology is building up a 3D image of underground services in the street

The Augmented Visualisation of Underground Services technology has been piloted on Thames Water and Yorkshire Water contracts.

Morrison Utility Services engineers are using AVUS to plan and manage works more effectively by mapping and viewing buried services in 2D or 3D augmented reality prior to excavation.

The technology offers precise pipe location identification to within 5cm as well.

Teams can also now record as-is or as-built services before reinstatement building up a video database for safer future care and maintenance.

The resulting footage is used to create detailed 3D point cloud models ensuring accurate visual records and ‘x-ray vision’ of the work completed, utility layout and geology for future works.

The initial trial was successfully conducted by a Morrison Utility Services team working on a bypass and pressure relief valve (PRV) installation in Roehampton, South London.

Andy Carter, MUS Director of IT, Innovation and Improvement, said: “AR is paving the way for many operational processes in our sector to become safer and simpler – this technology is a real industry game changer.

“As well as safer working, the geo-positioning precision offered by the technology means that the essential infrastructure works that we undertake can be delivered more quickly and more efficiently to keep disruption to the public to a minimum.”

Eurovia UK Director of Innovation, Yogesh Patel, added: “When we developed the AVUS technology, we always knew that it would make a big impact on the safety and success of planning and programming of works.

“We all have a collective responsibility to manage our infrastructure safely and sustainably. AVUS is a step in the right direction towards this vision.”

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