Underneath the gleaming surface of modern megacities is an archaic patchwork of antiquated building inspection processes long overdue for a 21st century makeover. Meet H3 Dynamics, a cloud-based inspection services platform that is using drones and ground robots as the eyes and ears of engineers currently grounded by the pandemic and long hampered by last-century norms.
“By automating and digitizing visual inspection processes, we’re creating an accessible layer of information on structures and buildings in any city or corporate location,” said Taras Wankewycz, founder and CEO of H3 Dynamics. “Organizations can track the physical conditions of urban and remote facilities with a level of safety, efficiency, and accuracy not possible before.”
Perfecting the Human Plus Machine Equation
Headquartered in Singapore, H3 Dynamics customers include companies and government agencies worldwide across a long list of sectors such as smart cities, real estate, maritime, oil and gas, utilities, renewable energy, and mining. Customers might be private equity firms that own facilities, insurance companies, site operators, safety inspection and certification organizations, or regulators involved in legislating safety mandates. H3 Dynamics also has clients that resell its digitized visual monitoring services to their own customers.
What customers have in common are hard-to-reach sites, from the tallest skyscrapers to remote industrial outposts that defy the most intrepid human being’s effort to scale. But this is not a story about machines replacing people.
Drones and ground robots, as well as people, can capture information from buildings with video and other camera images, bringing this data into the H3 Dynamics platform. The system uses technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D modeling to create an interactive map that displays defects on the scanned structure surfaces, classifying potential risks, whether aesthetic anomalies or unsafe areas that require repair. Civil engineers or other recognized industry experts review and validate the automated findings. Customers can generate a written report that details safety risks. In addition, the company has created shelter systems where drones and other robots can get batteries recharged and upload data to the H3 Dynamics cloud.
Speed, Productivity, and Scale
H3 Dynamics customers have sped up building inspections, increasing productivity by 70% in some cases. For example, traditional inspection methods for high-rise buildings typically take several weeks or months, require expensive equipment rentals, and pose higher safety risks to people.
“Our end-to-end report generation is much lower cost, and because we’re using AI and high-definition and thermal cameras, it typically finds 20% more defects than human-centered methods,” Wankewycz said. “Completion can be as fast as a couple of days – from data collection to analysis and report delivery, including official validation from a certified civil engineer.”
Intelligence Delivers Business Results
A seasoned entrepreneur, Wankewycz channeled his early experiences with drones to create H3 Dynamics. He initially foresaw the commercial market opportunities for standalone drones as remote sensing systems while working on battery alternatives to extend the flight duration of fixed-wing unmanned aircrafts. When a large oil and gas customer bought his startup’s battery alternatives for its drones that inspected remote pipeline networks, Wankewycz was inspired.
“Instead of using our battery alternatives for longer flights, we thought it would be more valuable to create charging shelters for smaller, less expensive drones that could be placed at intervals along the pipeline,” he said. “We realized that we needed to develop a centralized, cloud-based system with enough intelligence to capture, manage, and analyze the huge amounts of unstructured data that would be acquired in this way. We morphed into a digital service provider that now sells business results as a recurring service to our customers.”
SAP.iO as a Path to Intelligent Enterprise
It is no coincidence that H3 Dynamics has a target market closely aligned to some of SAP’s industry strongholds. As a participant in the SAP.iO Foundry Singapore cohort, Wankewycz appreciated the company’s active support in exploring ways to innovate for mutual customer needs.
“SAP’s vision of the Intelligent Enterprise is exactly what we’re aiming for with H3 Dynamics,” he said. “Now that H3 Dynamics is integrated with SAP Asset Intelligence Network, customers will be able to send work orders to address problems that our system has flagged as risk alerts from drones and other image data. We’re excited to help close the loop on data between the physical world and operational systems.”
H3 Dynamics is available on SAP App Center.
Cloud Powers Global Plans
With SAP’s guidance as an established global company, Wankewycz envisioned unlimited expansion opportunities beyond his current customer base in Singapore, Europe, and the U.S.
“As a cloud-based company, we have no geographical boundaries,” he said. “I’ve always imagined how industries can evolve in five to 10 years, which I’ve translated into H3 Dynamics. I see myself as a puzzle builder, bringing technologies together to create innovations with a lasting future.”
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This article originally appeared on SAP BrandVoice on Forbes.