The system combines a high-resolution camera and cloud-based hosting solution for live progress monitoring of asset inspections and is meant for areas of the industry that traditionally do not have the budget for a mobile mapping system.
The KlearView360° system is a vehicle-based video inspection system that combines a cloud-based hosting solution for live progress monitoring of a project and the assignment of work orders with a high-resolution camera for capturing 360° imagery at typical road speeds. End users who could benefit would include local authorities, highways engineers and consultants and utilities, or anyone with a need to maintain their assets.
KlearView360° is designed to ensure that assets are regularly reviewed and maintained through a simple four-step process: capture, identify, assign and resolve. One of the key benefits of the system is that it ensures full traceability and accountability of an asset’s repair. The information that the field worker receives includes coordinates of the asset (for easy navigation and location) and a full 360° view of it to ensure that it can be accurately identified, for example a certain type of crash barrier so that the right tools can be taken to the job for a fast repair. There are many health and safety implications for asset maintenance and this system has been designed to provide an easy to use, cost-effective way for asset managers to identify and act on those that need immediate or timely action.
The development of the system can trace its roots back to a conversation between KOREC and NCTech during last year’s GeoBusiness event in the UK. KOREC, a distributor of survey and mapping technology, saw an opportunity based around an entry-level camera capable of recording even small features such as cracks and potholes, while NCTech, a UK-based company that acquires high-resolution 360-degree imagery and LiDAR data, saw an opportunity around a simple, streamlined visual inspection software solution. Next, KOREC’s in-house development team, K-MATIC, trialed the camera and developed a system workflow.
Carrying out a repair without delay
The camera can be mag mounted on the roof of any vehicle and the software is activated by a single button press on a tablet or phone before driving the route. Once the route has been driven, data is uploaded via a hard drive to a PC or laptop. The video can then be played for a quick review of the captured data. If a defect is identified within the video, it can be paused and with a single click, a 360° view of the asset can be looked at in context to its surroundings. Any existing information about the defect is also brought up. A screengrab of the image can be taken and then assigned to a field worker via K-Portal. The worker will receive this information on a GPS enabled handheld device or phone running K-Mobile field data capture software, enabling the worker to navigate to the correct asset.
The key benefit of the system is that the fieldworker has all the relevant information for carrying out a repair without delay. From the photograph, the type of asset can be identified, the defect noted and the correct tools taken to the job first time. Once the task has been sent via K-Portal, it remains on the system as an ‘open issue’ until the worker fixes it and sends a picture verifying the work done. This then gets reported as a ‘fixed issue’ in the database. All those with a log-in to K-Portal can view this data with no restrictions or local software licenses needed for logging in.
The KlearView360° system compared to existing solutions
Whereas existing systems entail expensive hardware, require a high level of technical aptitude for processing and handling the data, a high-end powerful computer and additional software to process the GPS and image data, KlearView360° is cloud-based and eliminates the need for intensive processing, as the images from the NCTech camera are already geo-referenced. A mobile mapping system can take at least a week of training for those using it to be up and running, while KlearView360° requires less than a day to familiarize office and field workers with its workings.
The system is also easily transferrable from one vehicle to another by just one person whilst a mag mount ensures safe positioning on the roof. Data is collected via a single button press and captured data easily transferred to a laptop via a hard drive. It is a simple process to upload data to the cloud taking just a few minutes. Once uploaded, it is immediately viewable via unlimited log-ins that require no local software licenses. The K-Mobile field data capture software is well established with a reputation for ease of use even by those unfamiliar with data capture technology.
The intention is to quickly provide the field worker with the right information needed to understand what materials/tools are required for a job. This cuts down on repeat visits and ensures they are equipped to get the job done first time. Reduction in the number of visits required to fix an asset also brings additional health and safety benefits and in many cases, ‘boots off tarmac’. The system also ensures full traceability and accountability of the repair whilst building up a record of the asset.