Komatsu to Launch Drone Program in Japan

January 21, 2015

Komatsu will integrate San Francisco-based Skycatch’s autonomous aerial data capture solution into its new Smart Construction business. Komatsu Smart Construction will leverage Skycatch’s fully autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle solution and data analytics tools to create “smart job sites of the future,” the company says.

Komatsu will offer this new solution initially in Japan through its rental division beginning in February.

The technology will connect all information on job sites through information and communication technology and apply its accumulated data to the maintenance work of an aging social infrastructure and reconstruction of natural disaster-destroyed regions.

Drones will be programmed to fly over an area and use sensors to collect data about the terrain, producing high-precision 3-D data of job sites. Autonomous Intelligent Machine Control bulldozers and excavators will then use those models to complete construction work. All job site data will be sent to the new KomConnect cloud platform.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Skycatch plans to lease Komatsu at least 200 drones in the next several years. 

Watch a video of Komatsu's announcement.