Inspecting roller coasters and ropeways with 4K drone footage

In the amusement park industry, new initiatives have begun to use technology to ensure the safety of inspectors and improve operational efficiency.

Sky Bridge Co., Ltd. ( referred to as Sky Bridge) has partnered with Tsubakimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd. ( referred to as Tsubakimoto Kogyo) to conduct drone inspections of roller coasters and ropeways at Hamanako Palpal and Kanzanji Ropeway.

The inspection was conducted by the person in charge who confirmed the 4K video taken by the drone in real time. Inspections were carried out at high and dangerous places, places where temporary scaffolding was erected, and places that can only be inspected during statutory inspections.

Inspecting roller coasters and ropeways with 4K drone footage

Inspecting roller coasters and ropeways with 4K drone footage

Safety inspection of the bottom of the scaffolding

Hamanako Palpal and Kanzanji Ropeway are considering the use of drones as a new method of safely inspecting the backs of roller coasters, lightning rods and the underside of equipment scaffolding.

This time, full consideration of Tsubakimoto Industries’ proposal for a drone inspection solution will begin. Tsubakimoto Kogyo introduced drone inspection of factories through a collaborative SkyBridge and 3D technology using drone measurements, which was adopted.

SkyBridge is not a drone manufacturer or software development company, so it is not bound by drone models and software, and selects the most suitable drone for each use. This time the inspection method requested by Hamanako Palpal and Kanzanji Ropeway was used.

Inspecting roller coasters and ropeways with 4K drone footage

Inspecting roller coasters and ropeways with 4K drone footage

Choosing the best drone for each application

At the amusement park Hamanako Palpal, Skydio drones were used for roller coaster inspections, as the drones had to go deep inside the facility to take pictures. the director of Hamanako PALPAL conducted various inspections by approaching within 1m of the inspection point and confirming the video taken in real time.

A DJI drone (Matrice300 RTK) was used to inspect the Kannonji ropeway. Zoom shots were taken from tens to hundreds of times from multiple directions while maintaining sufficient distance (spacing) between the drone and the support cables and communication cables on the lake. The machine could even take clear pictures of each ropeway support detail.

For inspection, the measurement technology that Skybridge specializes in was applied and an automatic navigation route was created. The video was confirmed in real time by the head of the Kuanshan Temple ropeway.

Inspecting roller coasters and ropeways with 4K drone footage

Inspecting roller coasters and ropeways with 4K drone footage

Drones sweep away inspection difficulties

In amusement parks, even if the equipment has scaffolding, there are areas that are difficult to inspect because of their height. Until now, when temporary scaffolding was assembled for painting work, inspection was done every few years.

In the case of ropeways, it is more difficult to inspect. Especially in the case of cross ropeways, because the supporting ropes (wire ropes) are not circulated, climbing to the top of the carrier (cable car) and checking the stranded ropes one by one to form the book of wire ropes requires visual inspection. In particular, the Kanyama-ji Ropeway is a ropeway that crosses the lake, and it is said to be difficult to visually confirm from below.

Skybridge and Tsubakimoto Kogyo developed an inspection method using drones to solve these problems and to make various inspections part of the daily routine.

 

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