Development & Prototyping

Autonomous Drones for Heritage Inspection and 3D Mapping

Autonomous drones for inspection and 3D mapping of large historic interiors with precise navigation in GNSS-denied environments.


Autonomous Inspection and 3D Mapping

Drones play a crucial role in heritage preservation through 3D documentation, damage detection, structural inspection, diagnosis, and condition assessment. With the use of UAVs, existing structures can now undergo thorough surveys, covering challenging angles and features, enabling comprehensive documentation of historic interiors. Drones are swiftly replacing helicopters, scaffolding, and climbers traditionally employed for exterior documentation, offering a quicker, safer, and cost- effective solution.

UAVs have also become popular in archaeological research, where drones can locate historical objects underground, rapidly explore vast areas, or collect data from inaccessible locations. They are useful for 3D documentation of archaeological excavations or for surveying archaeological sites, landscapes, and forests. Drones offer key features including prompt deployment for regular monitoring and mapping damage extent in case of accidents or natural events.

Drones can inspect, map, and prepare 3D documentation of precious cultural heritage. Image source: MRS CTU


Autonomous Inspection and 3D Mapping Drones from Fly4Future

Fly4Future team members were involved in the NAKI project between CTU and the Czech National Heritage Institute (NPU). The project aimed to develop autonomous drone technology for inspecting and documenting large historic interiors, replacing the costly, time-consuming, and safety-critical process of constructing scaffolding and high-lift platforms. replacing the costly, time-consuming, and safety-critical construction of scaffolding and high-lift platforms. This technology enables documentation without undesired distortion and loss of information regarding the technical condition. The 3D scan then provides accurate mass orientation and the position of the element in the interior.

Fly4Future offers the development of autonomous drone technology for indoor and outdoor 3D mapping. Using drones in the interior of historic buildings is often rare due to the lack of GNSS, adverse lighting conditions, and various obstacles in these structures. Fly4Future drones can fly in both GNSS and GNSS-denied environments, swiftly transitioning between them. Our drones boast capabilities for highly accurate obstacle avoidance, important for avoiding damage to complex interior features, precise navigation, and localization for autonomous inspections. Additionally, our drones can carry a light source to ensure consistent illumination for all documentation.

Fly4Future autonomous drones can easily work in hard-to-reach areas of historical objects. Image source: MRS CTU


Autonomous Multi-robot Systems and Underground Inspections

Fly4Future autonomous drones can work in teams for better modeling performance, especially in time-critical situations. Our collaborative multi-robot systems can work seamlessly thanks to a special dynamic communication network. In a given scenario, drones can simultaneously scan the entire building from both inside and outside, detecting structural damage that may impact decorative features. This brings a time-efficient solution for the diagnosis and subsequent decision-making process.

Fly4Future also offers solutions for underground archaeological heritage inspections. Our X500 research drone is specifically designed to meet the challenges of underground environments, such as flying in low light and avoiding obstacles in unfamiliar environments. The drone, based on a self-contained system tailored for autonomous exploration, proves to be a valuable asset for excavations involving potential safety risks for archaeologists. It also offers a solution for mapping areas that cannot be exposed due to unstable environments or where preservation methods for safely revealing these areas have not yet been discovered.

Fly4Future autonomous drones collaborate in teams for even better inspection results. Image source: MRS CTU


Our Drones at Work

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What We Do

Custom Drone Builder

Custom Drones

We custom-build ready-to-fly, fully autonomous drones suitable for your research needs.

Development and prototyping

Development & Prototyping

We design and develop advanced autonomous aerial systems to meet the particular needs of our individual clients.

Research projects

Research Projects

We participate in many projects in various fields financed by the EU and Czech Republic, as well as private research institutions.