The 3D Model of a Tesla gigafactory is one of those most incredible things we built at FS Studio.
Technologies like AI, Machine Learning, Perception Engine, and Imaging systems are paradigms capable of bringing disruptive changes across a broad spectrum of industries.
FS Studio uses these state-of-the-art technologies to provide various services and build incredible innovations related to mixed Reality, i.e., AR & VR, Spatial Computing, embedded device development, IoT, WebXR, Simulations, and AI Hand Tracking.
How was the 3D Model of the Tesla Gigafactory Built?
The intricacies involved in this massive endeavor to generate 3D digital twins of a site with only drone footage are immense. The traditional approach of building a digital twin with a mathematical and calculated approach is rendered useless with this new approach from FS Studio used to construct the 3D Model of the gigafactory.
Along with the power of AI and video photogrammetry, this project used various pipelines and models to build the 3D Model from the daily Tesla gigafactory construction footage of the gigafactory by various third parties on Youtube.
FS Studios is using various technologies and techniques in this project. Videogrammatry is one of them. Videogrammatry is a technology used to obtain different information about a real-world object or environment through only video footage. For example, we can use videogrammatry to derive accurate data on measurements and distance of any object, usually with aerial footage of the object or the site.
FS Studio uses videogrammatry to analyze different drone footage to compute additional data necessary to build the model, such as the tesla factory layout data and size data about the tesla building.
In this project, the developers are using Tensorflow JS along with Three.js. Tensorflow JS is an open-source library that developers can use for different machine learning processes like training, testing, and running models entirely in a browser.
The developers are using TensorflowJS along with Three.js for creating the 3D Model along with representing the Model in 3D on a 2D web browser. Developers also use these frameworks for 3D manipulation and representation of the Model, right in the browser.
On top of building the Tesla gigafactory 3D Model, the team also made hand-tracking technology that can control and manipulate this Model. The hand tracking system uses two models—one for detection of the palm while another for skeleton tracking. There are about 25 hand tracking points and combinations of both models that enable full hand tracking.
In addition to this, the tracking system also uses Hand Landmark Model. These two models run simultaneously to track the hand and enable different features the system has to offer. Some of the available features are pinch to zoom & scale and moving hands to control and navigate the Tesla gigafactory 3D model.
To enable these functions and visualizations, the system is using HoloLens 2 from Microsoft. Through the use of Microsoft's cloud computing service, Azure, devices like Front Facing Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL), Time of Flight Sensor (ToF Sensor), and a normal camera connect to enable hand tracking along with its representation in Augmented Reality (AR) in the HoloLens 2.
VCSEL is a laser diode that emits an optical beam or a light beam from its surface perpendicularly or vertically. It is a semiconductor-based laser diode. VCSEL is more advantageous than traditional Edge Emitting Lasers (EEL) or Light Emitting Diodes (LED) that emit light beams from sides or top and side of their surfaces, respectively. Due to vertically producing light beams, VCSEL can be fabricated on a wafer that allows for more efficient, controlled, and easy production with low costs.
On the other hand, the ToF sensor uses infrared light to extract depth information by detecting the reflection of the light signal it emits. In this project, ToF is used in combination with VCSEL and an ordinary camera for touchless sensing and gesture recognition through the power of AI.
Together with integrating these different technologies in a single system, FS Studio successfully produced a 3D model of the Tesla gigafactory in Texas and hand tracking and gesture recognition for manipulation and control of the 3D Model right in the web browser.
The Vision behind the Mission
The director of Emerging Technologies at FS Studio, Tony Rogers, was behind this vision to reconstruct the Tesla Giga factory in the 3D digital world. This vision came into fruition due to his fascination for the daily drone construction footage of the gigafactory posted almost daily on Youtube. Along with the digital twin, hand tracking for 3D model manipulation with functions like zoom, scale, and translation are also integrated with the system.
Elon Musk's Tesla makes waves across the electric vehicle (EV) industry and R&D, global supply chains, battery production, and construction through their gigafactories. Their gigafactory, located in Austin, Texas, is an automotive manufacturing facility planned to be Tesla's leading production site.
Among many Tesla gigafactory production, their Tesla CyberTruck & Tesla Semi is a primary product in this mega factory. Apart from this, the Tesla Texas factory will be a battery production facility & battery warehouse along with the production facility for their Model 3 and Model Y cars.
It is a massive project that will allow Tesla to produce a whopping 250 Giga Watt Hours of battery capacity production. The gigafactory size will be about a 4 - 5 million square foot facility, while the gigafactory cost will be about 400 million US Dollars.
Therefore among many tesla operations, this gigafactory construction is one of the most important ones. Hence, this is an excellent site for the endeavor of FS Studio to build a digital twin of a site/factory by only using the drone footage publicly available on Youtube.
Benefits and Advantages of this Technology
With hands-free technology, the future of the 3D web looks very exciting. Through the technology of this kind, we can have endless possibilities and innovations that will enable users to use technologies like Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality seamlessly across various applications and platforms. Combining this with 3D models and simulations, we can have excellent applications and possibilities as embedded and separate systems and right in the web browser.
When we pair this technology with other technologies like drones controlled with the help of AI and ML, we can design and create 3D digital twins very efficiently and rapidly all over the world. Therefore, this type of technology comes out to be very advantageous for construction companies.
They can view and analyze different sites and construction progress without traveling to every corner of the area since the 3D Model covers every part of the site where shooting aerial footage is possible. Therefore, processes like site monitoring, inspection, supervision, etc., would be very efficient and fast, especially for large construction projects.
Mixed in with advanced drone technology controlled through AI and ML algorithms, this tech would enable companies to generate digital twins of various sites and objects almost daily for a regular survey of the sites/environment without ever having to visit the site. It would empower rapid assessment and scanning of areas and numerous possibilities regarding designing while redefining the workflow.
This type of technology is a massive advantage for construction companies and other parties from different industries.
For instance, the vendors who provide maintenance and repair services. For different large-scale maintenance or repair projects, not only does this tech reduce the time required to inspect and analyze the damage or maintenance needed, it makes the process much safer and efficient.
Different rescue missions also require scanning large or unsafe areas with proper planning and knowledge of the damage or disaster, or destruction to execute the task safely. Thus, this tech would enable rapid scanning of sites with substantial safety margins for humans; it would also speed up rescue processes, a massive achievement in this field.
Across the industry, every project/mission that requires scanning and inspection of sites along with its digital twin will benefit tremendously from this type of tech.
Tony Rogers, the man who came with the vision for this project of making a digital twin of the Tesla Gigafactory at Austin, Texas, believes that the future will be of hands-free technology that is seamlessly integrated with technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) at its core.
With the advent of these types of emerging and cutting edge technologies, FS Studio is working hard to develop and provide similar innovative solutions to prepare businesses and industries for the future of efficient & rapid product development and R&D technologies.
Commercial use of drones involves inspection and monitoring infrastructure, equipment, pipelines, sites in industries. Drones are an economical, safe, and accessible way to take aerial photos and videos. Industries that use drones can gather and analyze data, deliver goods and inspect inaccessible areas, and so much more.
Drone technology is also a valuable asset because of its potential to help companies build up an integrated drone data program.
One of the significant advantages of a drone data program is that the documented data is permanent. Industries that use drones can perform YOY analysis using data from the drone as past references and make intelligent decisions for the future. The drone data storage also helps with assessing the health of equipment across multiple sites.
Check out how drones can help your business if you belong to any of these industries below.
Drone Technology in Agriculture:
The consumers at present are interested to know the origin of the foods they purchase. Consumers are also curious to see how the foods were grown with rising concerns about health issues. The farmers and agronomists worldwide struggle to improve resource management within tight budgets while meeting the increasing demands.
On top of that, climate change is adding layers of trouble in the agricultural industry, threatening the supply chain. The World Bank reported that 1/3 of foods are either lost or wasted due to the adverse effects of climate change.
So, there is a spike in interest to achieve climate-smart agriculture (CSA) across the globe. The CSA is an integrated effort built to manage landscapes, cropland, livestock, forests, and fisheries with emerging technology. The aim is to protect the goods produced from being wasted, saving money and time.
Drones in farming can battle this critical situation to implement climate-smart agriculture (CSA). They use drones to collect data on croplands. Farmers are shifting to drones in crop scouting from manual crop scouting to improve crop management.
Earlier farmers walked around the fields for days to manually observe the crops for primary data collection.
It was a traditional method of data collection and determining the areas that will require more attention and sampling.
Drones in crop scouting changed the scenario and minimized the process to 6-10 hours. Drones provide valuable data alongside visual proof points. Farmers use the data to detect the exact areas that need damage control applications against weeds, pests, and fungi. Farmers can also determine the input optimization of seeds, water, or fertilizers for areas needing improvement.
Now, farmers need to make lesser trips around the field by using drones in agriculture. Farmers are also improving variable-rate prescriptions in real-time and increasing the yield from a lot.
According to the World Bank report, we will need to produce about 70% more food by 2050 to feed about 9 billion people. Therefore, we need to integrate emerging technologies in agriculture to avoid food security crises in the future.
Commercial use of Drones in the Manufacturing Industry:
At present, only 2% of the manufacturing industry has deployed drones in the factories. It is because manufacturers are too slow to realize the application of drones in manufacturing.
Manufacturers can build up digital infrastructure with drones supported by the right technologies.
Operation managers can use drone infrared and thermal technology to detect the technical faults within machinery faster. Faster detection will help the operations manager repair it before it can shut down production. In addition, indoor drone technology can drive on-time repairs saving money and preventing waste of time from unplanned downtime.
Commercial use of drones can help operational managers, technicians, and workers focus on productive tasks. For instance, indoor drones can conduct inventory checks in lesser time by scanning radio frequency identification chips and barcodes.
Uses of drones in the packaging department are commendable. Drones are picking and packing in lesser time, minimizing human efforts. Moreover, drones are smart enough to move around warehouses, selecting products involuntarily. Then, they are moving the selected products to the packing area.
This automated service of drones is available for implementation. However, manufacturers haven't realized the performance and benefits of this technology yet. The application of drones in manufacturing can increase productivity and growth.
Uses of Drones in Power Generation:
One of the significant benefits of drone inspection is that drone data capture is 99 percent accurate.
Measure, a drone manufacturer experimented with a power generation site. The purpose was to find out the speed and accuracy of drones compared to the crews. Measure compared the results and was astonished.
The crews came up with accurate data. However, the primary data collection after manual inspections of the site took two days. In contrast, the drones completed data capture in 2 hours with 99% accuracy. It proves that the time has come we should switch to commercial use of drones in the utility industry for maximized productivity.
The method of data collection by drones has proved to be fruitful. Drones are capable of providing the most accurate data ever. In the Wind, Transportation & Distribution industries the drone data collection is providing a wide range of data as listed below:
All the detailed data help the asset managers make faster-repairing decisions before these can become unmanageable. In this way, power generation plants can reduce downtime and cut out unnecessary expenses and extensive replacements.
Industrial drones can monitor and inspect confined areas, which would have been difficult for humans to do.
Drones can also inspect hazardous areas like boilers at nuclear power plants protecting workers from radiation.
Impact of Drones in the chemical industry:
Commercial use of drones is now a reality in some largest chemical process industries (CPI). However, manufacturers are drones in the chemical industry for inspecting challenging equipment like flare stacks and large processing vessels in the plant.
Indoor drones can fly inside very constricted equipment structures and perform visual inspections, non-destructive testing (NDT), and collect data successfully. However, it means the manual review is an outdated method in the CPI.
However, future uses of drones will include emergency response, security management in the CPI.
Benefits of drones in the Mining Industry:
Traditional mining involves risky methods and has limited scope for safety assessments during mining operations. According to The World Counts report, more than 15,000 workers die in mining operations every year. It's so deadly.
Mining operations begin with Stopes for ore extraction after big blasts. The stopes are unstable, and large rocks hanging within them can fall at any time. Traditional methods cannot conduct safety assessments or help to decide the stability of the area. Miners are even clueless about how to proceed with the operations due to the risks involved. However, using drones for mining exploration can tackle the threats hundred percent.
Indoor drones are transforming mining operations, making them safer and effective. Indoor flying drones can enter the stopes and collect high-quality geo-referenced images and videos of the area. The imageries are quickly transformed into 3D modeling of the site and can calculate volumes and perform site surveys.
The use of drones for mining exploration is paying off. Commercial use of drones is helping miners to design road layouts before proceeding with operations. In addition, it allows the miners to understand the condition inside the Stopes better.
Impact of Drones in the Oil & Gas industry:
The oil and gas industries have heavily invested in assets for their upstream, mainstream, and downstream operations. Therefore, tactical asset management can go a long way financially with drones in the energy sector.
Today, oil and gas companies integrated indoor drone-based data collection, processing, and reporting into operational systems for better asset management.
Asset management in the oil and gas industries is a demanding job. It requires hundred percent clarity, focus, and conscious spontaneity. So, using flying drones can increase resource efficiency and reduce downtime.
The history of developing drone technology dates back to the time of the First World War. USA and Britain were the first two nations to build drones. The purpose was to keep military pilots out of dangerous missions and save lives. Commercial use of drones began in 2006, but applications were slow to start.
However, with the development of small drones, many industries are using UAVs in their regular operations. Thanks to the rising popularity of digital transformation trends.
As the industrial 4.0 revolution speeds up, companies are opting-in for UAV systems for flexibility and growth. According to the Markets and Markets report, the UAV industry will reach almost $ 52.30 billion by 2025.
Industries may have become aware of drones recently. Still, we can feel the heat of the evolving commercial drone market. Grand View Research reported drone market would expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.5% from 2021 to 2028.
Industries can derive massive improvement in productivity, monitoring procedures, and compliance from drone data storage. Therefore, companies adopting industrial drones earlier will be more beneficial compared to late users in the future.
We have entered the 4.0 industrial revolution. So, the success of companies will depend on how well they are embracing and utilizing transformational technology in their everyday operations.