Earthwork operations are crucial parts of most construction projects. Heavy construction equipment and workers are often required to work in limited workspaces simultaneously. Struck-by accidents resulting from poor worker and equipment interactions account for a large proportion of accidents and fatalities on construction sites. The emerging technologies based on computer vision and artificial intelligence offer an opportunity to enhance construction safety through advanced monitoring utilizing site cameras. A crucial pre-requisite to the development of safety monitoring applications is the ability to identify accurately and localize the position of the equipment and its critical components in 3D space. This study proposes a workflow for excavator 3D pose estimation based on deep learning using RGB images. In the proposed workflow, an articulated 3D digital twin of an excavator is used to generate the necessary data for training a 3D pose estimation model. In addition, a method for generating hybrid datasets (simulation and laboratory) for adapting the 3D pose estimation model for various scenarios with different camera parameters is proposed. Evaluations prove the capability of the workflow in estimating the 3D pose of excavators. The study concludes by discussing the limitations and future research opportunities.
- Computer vision
- Construction machinery
- Deep convilutional neural networks
- Machine learning
- Pose estimation
- Safety and productivity analysis