Drones and AI-based 3D virtual modeling system for safe dam management

By Park Sae-jin Posted : July 7, 2020, 14:07 Updated : July 7, 2020, 14:07

[Courtesy of Ministry of Environment]

SEOUL -- Aerial and underwater drones will create three-dimensional models to check the structural safety of dams in South Korea. Drones will inspect places where human workers cannot reach and structural damage can be analyzed with a virtual twin solution.

The Ministry of Environment said in a statement that it would introduce a dam inspection method using drones later this year and gradually establish an artificial intelligence-based smart safety management system by 2025. "It is important to thoroughly inspect dams without blind spots to prevent safety accidents," Environment Minister Cho Myung-rae was quoted as saying.

The management system for dams utilizes drones to create "digital twin" models. The digital twin solution creates a clone of an object inside a virtual world to simulate real-world problems. Virtual cloning and testing technology can find how a warehouse would survive in natural disasters.

In 2019, LG Electronics partnered with Siemens, a German industrial manufacturing company, to jointly focus on the research of digital twin and the digitalization of manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing of molds and equipment.

The dam management system can prevent structural damages and improve the lifespan of machinery and hydropower plants, the ministry said, adding it would establish a management center dedicated for the safe operation of dams. The operation of drones is limited in South Korea except for safety-related purposes.
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