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Transcript: WGAN-TV | Matterport + Leica BLK360: 20 Questions (and Answers)15917

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WGAN-TV | Matterport + Leica BLK360: 20 Questions (and Answers) | Guest: Robotic Imaging Co-Founder Mike Chawaga | Aired: Thursday, 4 November 2021 | Episode 124 | Website:

Leica BLK360 Camera/Scanner (pairs with Matterport Capture App)

WGAN-TV Live at 5 | Matterport + Leica BLK360: 20 Questions (and Answers)

Hi All,

Transcript below ...

1. When should you use a Leica BLK360 paired with Matterport?
2. When should you use each of the Leica BLK360 settings?
3. How far can Leica BLK360 scan locations be from each other within a Matterport digital twin?

These are 3 of 20 questions that I will ask Philadelphia-based Robotic Imaging Co-Founder Mike Chawaga (@MikeChawaga) on WGAN-TV Live at 5 on Thursday, 4 November 2021:

WGAN-TV Live at 5 | Matterport + Leica BLK360: 20 Questions (and Answers)

Other questions that I should ask Mike (@MikeChawaga) on the show about Matterport + Leica BLK360?



About Robotic Imagining (from the Robotic Imaging website)

What is Robotic Imaging?
Our team consists of reality capture technicians throughout the world digitizing the future of industrial, commercial and residential real estate. Robotic Imaging digitizes the world with high definition laser scanners and reality models online. Architects, Engineers, Construction, Developers and project stakeholders work with our data to accelerate real estate development and portfolio scalability.

How does Robotic Imaging work?
Request and scan and we will deploy Robotic Imaging on your site. LiDAR, Drones, BIM and VR are foundational for our applications.

How much does Robotic Imaging cost?
The more accurate to reality, the more time and cost. Our high definition laser scanning can collect LiDAR and colorized RGB values at a variety of densities specific to your project. Reach out for a quote:

Where and When is Robotic Imaging available?
When your property is accessible, scanning can occur 24/7, on weekends, outside hours of operation and/or under specific certifications or procedures.

How did Robotic Imaging start?
Founded in Philadelphia by Real Estate Developers and Programmers. Reach out and connect with us:

Robotic Imaging Links

1. Robotic Imaging Website
2. Mike Chawaga LinkedIn Profile
3. Robotic Imaging Facebook Page
4. Robotic Imaging YouTube Channel
5. Robotic Imaging on Twitter: @RoboticImaging
6. Robotic Imaging on Instagram: roboticimaging
7. Contact Mike Chawaga:


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Transcript (video above)

Dan Smigrod: -Hi, all. I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum. Today is Thursday, November 4, 2021, and you're watching WGAN-TV Live at 5. We have an awesome show for you today, Matterport + Leica BLK360: 20 Questions and Answers. Here to talk to us about that is our subject matter expert, Mike Chawaga, Co-Founder of Robotic Imaging based in Philadelphia.

Dan Smigrod: Hey, Mike, good to see you.

Mike Chawaga: -You too, Dan. Thanks for having me on.

Dan Smigrod: -Mike is a long time member of the We Get Around Network community. It is awesome to have you on the show today. I'm going to assume for the purpose of our conversation today that our audience are Matterport Pro2 3D Camera users and they've heard of Leica BLK360 and they're trying to understand every which way to Sunday about whether it would make sense to buy or rent one. That's why we're going to ask the questions on

Dan Smigrod: behalf of Matterport Service Providers that own a Pro2 and are looking to maybe make that next step. That said, Mike, before we jump into the 20 questions, how about telling us about Robotic Imaging?

Mike Chawaga: -Yes. Robotic Imaging started about four years ago when I was visiting my parents in Park City, Utah and a gentleman came over with a Matterport camera. He was sharing what he was doing with property management, how he was just using it internally for his firm, and asked if I'd be interested in learning about it. He turned us on to it. He's our service provider out there. We started scanning larger industrial and commercial properties in which the Matterport wasn't too friendly in the big open space.

Mike Chawaga: The client that we were servicing was an architect and developer that needed as-built drawings for 100,000 SQ FT industrial space. After scanning it a few times with the Matterport, we learned the hard way. We bought a Leica BLK360 on backorder in 2017. Six months later, it came and we were able to successfully scan actually with the Matterport app [paired with the BLK360], and then quickly became obsessed with LiDAR. We started building our operation mostly out of Philadelphia and we focus on

Mike Chawaga: the capture process and streamlining what the architects, engineers, and construction firms need extracted from that data and then storing that information and maintaining that data and converting it into usable CAD and Revit design software, whatever they're using, whether it's SketchUp. Running the 3D design softwares out there, that's what we specialize in, in converting that information. That's it.

Dan Smigrod: -I hear capturing, I hear scanning, what else besides capturing and scanning is Robotic imaging doing?

Mike Chawaga: -We do a lot of Point Cloud analysis where we'll go out and scan, we'll take a Point Cloud, put it into a PDF draft, the mission critical measurements on there, and then deliver that to a client as a 24-hour deliverable. We spend a lot of time in CAD and Revit. Revit mostly, that's a 3D modeling software that will take the XYZ point clouds from Matterport and we convert those into RCS. We convert all of our point clouds into RCS file formats for usability across Autodesk.

Mike Chawaga: That's the key file that we usually convert to. Then there's other softwares like MicroStation from Bentley Systems. They take PTS files, E57, generic file formats like that too.

Dan Smigrod: -Are you doing the scanning solely in Philadelphia?

Mike Chawaga: -We do all throughout the US and we're getting some inquiries in Europe now to scan LiDAR for some of the bigger stuff. We use contractors that we find here and there to just go and tackle the region. We got 10 retail sites in Atlanta or in Luxembourg or wherever. We'll try and source that data with data capture providers.

Dan Smigrod: -Cool. Are you now selling Leica BLK360 cameras?

Mike Chawaga: -We are selling Leica BLK360 cameras and we are shipping Leica BLK360 cameras for people that are trying to get their feet wet and learn about the equipment. We do provide that training, how to workflow/hacks, what apps work with the cameras and how to get through a property most efficiently. The hardware is interesting for us. It's changing fast but the Matterport data is still very usable for certain use cases,

Mike Chawaga: with that BLK information, too.

Dan Smigrod: -I believe that Robotic Imaging is an authorized Leica BLK360 reseller?

Mike Chawaga: -Correct. Yeah.

Dan Smigrod: -Are you renting BLK360s as well?

Mike Chawaga: Yes. We're renting on a case-by-case basis, and other scanners, but the parent scanner of the BLK360, the RTC360, that produces the same files. We're getting into that a little bit, too.

Dan Smigrod: -Okay. Awesome. Anyone that wants to find out more about Robotic Imaging,

Dan Smigrod: Great. I think, really, for my first of 20 questions, what is a BLK360? Do you happen to have one there you can hold it up, show it?

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah, I'll grab one. I'll [show you the BLK360 scanner].

Dan Smigrod: Okay. Incidentally, you can also email Mike. It's: Mike

Dan Smigrod: is also in the We Get Around Network Forum, @MikeChawaga @MikeChawaga is his WGAN Forum member name. What's a Leica BLK360? That's it.

Mike Chawaga: -This is it. This is the entry-level LiDAR scanner. Typically, there are $40,000, to $60,000, to $80,000 scanners.

Mike Chawaga: This [$19,000 scanner] is really what democratizes - being able to put these scanners on small and mid-level architecture sites or on small and mid-level development sites. It's more affordable, you can get in and out quickly and you don't have that really expensive asset on-site. Basically, it's one click to turn it on and it will take about thirty seconds to power up, the little ring will turn green. How we like to use these on-site is either using the Matterport with the BLK360 to move through a pretty open space,

Mike Chawaga: or just once this turns green, you mount the scanner on the tripod, make sure it's super-leveled, and then you just press the button once it will spin about a minute and 50 seconds spins. Even Matterport is sped up a little bit. I think it's a minute and 30 second spins when it's on the app and you're running it through – It doesn't feel like the 4-minute spins when it first came out. It's definitely more usable.

Dan Smigrod: -The Leica BLK360, this is a LiDAR scanner?

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah, a LiDAR scanner. That stands for Light Detection And Ranging. It's in the same family of the Doppler effect of RADAR, SONAR, the other measurement forms, this just uses light to measure. This scanner will shoot 20 meters and then that will be accurate to plus or minus 6 millimeters about.

Dan Smigrod: -20 meters, help me out, is that about 60 feet?

Mike Chawaga: -60 feet? Yeah, about that, a little bit more. It will shoot that far and then the width of that laser beam, when you're looking at the wall, is actually how the accuracy is measured. So the width of that laser beam is that 6 millimeter difference as it hits the wall and draws that wall. In LiDAR scanning, we like to look at accuracy by how thin that line is being drawn and then the width of that line. So the scanner that's one level up from this, we'll shoot 40 meters plus or minus 2 millimeters would be how thick the line is that is drawn in the reality file.

Dan Smigrod: -This begs a lot of questions.

Dan Smigrod: It's turning right now, it's rotating.

Mike Chawaga: -Right now it's taking a low-density scan, yeah.

Dan Smigrod: -Does it also take pictures?

Mike Chawaga: -Yes. That's what we love with the BLK360 is the color of data that it produces and how small that file actually is with the lateral point cloud. It has three cameras on it. If the BLK360 is spinning and you want to stop it mid-spin, it's just one click to turn it off. On this side of the camera, you have your thermal lens on the bottom, that's a FLIR camera in the BLK360. That will pull your temperature values.

Dan Smigrod: -Spell that for me.

Mike Chawaga: -FLIR, a FLIR camera. I think they're out of Boston, they produce a lot of cameras. They certify thermologists and stuff like that. Then you have a panorama camera on the bottom here, and then another pano camera up top. It has three cameras on it and so that thermal camera will give you plus or minus 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you select the point cloud, once this data is produced, you'll be able to pull the temperature value to a crazy degree.

Dan Smigrod: -From what you just said, I started the WGAN-TV show out by saying Matterport + Leica BLK360: 20 Questions and Answers. I don't know if I can limit it to 20. I have a thousand questions just based on what you said in that small amount of time. Let me try this next question and it'll probably spark yet more questions.

Dan Smigrod: I guess I probably should make a statement first, is that when the Leica BLK360 camera first came out, it's a scanner and a camera, what was super-significant about it, was the price point that was half of what the nearest competing camera was at the time.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. For what it can produce, like a third of the price.

Dan Smigrod: -A third of the price, so it's super-significant from a price standpoint. Second, it captures the photography in addition to capturing the depth-data.

Mike Chawaga: -Right. Then the third thing I'd add, it would probably be how malleable are the partnerships that they created, like with Matterport, to bring it to the consumer market like the software programming. The hardware, firmware, and software, it's brilliant.

Dan Smigrod: -It's super-significant that Leica struck a deal with Matterport to enable the Matterport platform to, I would say, easily and seamlessly pair a Matterport scan where you can use both the Matterport Pro2 3D camera and Leica BLK360 camera scanner together.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah.

Dan Smigrod: -That's super-significant.

Mike Chawaga: -I think so. Yeah. It's been significant and the price point on the scanner hasn't depreciated in value and that's similar to a lot of other instruments like this. They don't depreciate. At least now we'll see in cellphones.

Dan Smigrod: -Awesome. When do I need to use a BLK360 paired with a Matterport Pro2 Camera?

Mike Chawaga: -The environment that we're using that "couple" most is in the retail space. A lot of retail is turning over, there's a lot of new companies moving in. So the big open space where you need to take into consideration of the floor slope, that's when you would use both those cameras. You build the Matterport tour in about 90 second spins. In the retail environment is where I'd say I use it the most. Because its square footage is all under 100,000 square feet, it's nothing crazy.

Mike Chawaga: Then you always have that raw data on the scan that you can pull off and put in the Leica Cyclone Register 360 software and put that raw data together, after the fact, if you don't like how it's looking in Matterport.

Dan Smigrod: -Okay . We'll come back and talk about a non-Matterport use of the scan data. When you talked about retail, I could imagine one was the ceiling height because you talked about how the scanner can see up to about 60 feet. If you're doing a big box retail space with this scanner, the BLK360 is giving you the depth-data to the ceiling where the Matterport Pro2 Camera maybe is two,

Dan Smigrod: two-and-a-half stories and can't see the ceiling. Is that?

Mike Chawaga: -Correct? Yeah, and that's key because a lot of the data that we extract is the lighting fixtures and how they're lining up with the aisles like that so the ceiling data is critical in retail.

Dan Smigrod: -I think the second thing I'm guessing at here, but when you're talking about 100,000 SQ FT, I'm guessing that you can do 100,000 SQ FT much faster with the BLK360 rather than the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera because it sees further and therefore you can move the BLK360 tripod a greater distance, and so you don't need as many scan points.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. Absolutely. You can probably do 20 foot steps in a big open warehouse with the BLK360 and still use the Matterport app and have it pick up no problem. The big open space – 100,000 SQ FT is just all open space in our open warehouse. You probably can get it out there in six hours with the BLK and Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, which is pretty good. Versus three times as many scanned points or something like that. And multiple alignment errors and all that stuff.

Dan Smigrod: -Do you have alignment errors when you use a BLK360 paired with the Matterport Capture app?

Mike Chawaga: -You do, but it's much less. Same as the error message, and that's what's nice about it too. It's giving you the same feedback as if you're running the Matterport camera on how to do it. It's really just taking care of the insurer and making sure that it is level and that's what's nice about the Matterport. If you're a Matterport Service Provider, you're getting into that realm is now a big learning curve.

Dan Smigrod: -That's probably a key thing for a Matterport Service Provider or a company that's using a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera. Thinking about a BLK360, it just pairs with the Matterport Capture app just like a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera?

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. It's the same setup so you just turn the camera on until it's green like this. Open the Matterport Capture app up and then connect to this thing's Wi-Fi as well, and so it has its own Wi-Fi. Then the button's activated, you see it ready to go and it just says BLK360 instead of Matterport.

Dan Smigrod: -Can you switch? If you started with the Pro2, can you switch to a BLK360? If you start with the BLK360, can you switch to a Pro2, vice versa throughout the scanning process? Because I could imagine you might go from a giant warehouse, but then it goes into maybe a smaller office setting attached to a warehouse or to a retail space and there may be a reason to switch to a Pro2 for capture versus the BLK360 in a big open space.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. You can go back and forth any which way with it. The one nuance – if you are doing that – as you want to connect to your latest scan, the darkest scan. If it's Matterport circles on the Capture app mini-map, you want to stick the BLK360 right on top of that dark blue scan that was most recent, and then switch it over. You just want to make sure that wherever that dark blue or dark green scan is, if you're using a BLK360 under your Capture app, that you're setting the camera directly on top of that spot.

Dan Smigrod: -For clarification, if I just scanned with the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera and I'm switching to a BLK360, don't take a step. Don't go moving 20 steps or 10 steps because you really need the scan data to magically connect?

Mike Chawaga: -Right. If you already have been doing Matterport and you had a dark blue scan on the other side of the facility and you want to switch to BLK360 on the opposite side of the facility, you want to start with Matterport on that opposite side of the facility to get that dark blue scan location on your Matterport Capture app mini-map. Then you'd switch it to the BLK360 scanner and it'll pick up right on top of that.

Dan Smigrod: -Essentially, when you switch, you don't move the tripod?

Mike Chawaga: -You don't have to, but it can be a little bit off. It doesn't have to be the same spot.

Dan Smigrod: -It's a little bit off, but you really don't want to go 20 feet away or 60 feet away because you'll likely get a scan error that says, can't attach the scan data.

Mike Chawaga: -Absolutely. Yeah. You want to be within five feet of that dark that previous scan.

Dan Smigrod: -Awesome. On the BLK360, you turned it on. I imagine you could turn it off. Are there other buttons, other settings?

Mike Chawaga: -They just came out with an attachment that you can put on the inside to extract data off this. But it's really as simple as it is. You press it once to turn it on and then you hold down a button to turn it off. Then this has a hard drive, it stores all that raw information on there so you can hold them with other software. It's as simple as that. It's probably easier to run with the Matterport, I'd say.

Dan Smigrod: -Easier? Interesting. Now I recall when this came out that there were settings that you could set for either accuracy. I don't know, maybe it was the length of time that it rotated and there were trade-offs to make. Is that not the case today?

Mike Chawaga: -You can do that. We keep everything on low density because we're drafting it from that information.

Dan Smigrod: -Please explain that, and how do I change density? What are you scanning at low density? That means there must be high density or medium density. When are you choosing the setting, and is that a physical setting change on the camera or is that actually within the Matterport Capture app?

Mike Chawaga: -There's no toggle or buttons besides for this power button on the device. You can go through the Matterport Capture app which has saved us a few times on a field trip when we forgot our laptops. But typically we would connect this to our PC into what's called the BLK Data Manager and change it. But now, you can connect to Matterport and then change it in the Capture app with what density you want and then you just turn that off and then keep pressing the button or running through the app, but it wouldn't change.

Dan Smigrod: -Great. Help us understand density. What are our options and when do we pick which option?

Mike Chawaga: -I haven't found a use case. I can think of a use case, but we haven't come across one where we're switching this camera from low density. This whole year we've run this camera on low density because it's plenty of data to draft from, and it's not going to change the accuracy, it's going to change the detail. All it's going to do is create a denser point cloud that you'll be able to see more information. If you were modeling crown molding, for example, you probably want to get the camera pretty close to that in 10 feet and do

Mike Chawaga: a high-density scan so you could see all the intricacies of that. Historical facade might be a use case, but again, you are pulling plenty of information from that. Matterport lets you run the BLK360 on low density now, which I think sped it up significantly. But we used to have to have it set to medium density and HDR photography, which would take at least three minutes to do it that way. But now it's a minute and fifty seconds; you can feel it moving pretty fast.

Dan Smigrod: -Is it low density plus HDR?

Mike Chawaga: -No. You don't have to do HDR anymore; at least on my end. You can just run the camera without the HDR setting, and you're still going to get that Matterport picture.

Dan Smigrod: -If I want better-quality photography, do I need the HDR setting?

Mike Chawaga: -Yes. Absolutely.

Dan Smigrod: -Is that set within the Matterport Capture app?

Mike Chawaga: -You can't set it there. You can turn it on low density. But if you do want that really good photosphere, you definitely want to keep HDR on for sure.

Dan Smigrod: -When Robotic Imaging is doing scanning, it sounds like your clients are mostly interested in the depth-data; the point cloud, rather than the photography. Is that the case?

Mike Chawaga: -We haven't done a marketing virtual tour in a long time, but it's mostly just yeah. Just two different scans, you could be in there and the scanner is moving through the property, however, you get through as fast as possible. We're not necessarily worried about how it looks, but we have done that in the past where we've done a garden outside, a garden conservatory where we used the HDR and we had to make it look nice.

Mike Chawaga: That's when we would use that setting.

Dan Smigrod: -Gosh, I just hit a fork in the road. One of the forks it sounds like scanning outdoors, Matterport Pro2 3D Camera is really not an outdoor solution. There are 360 Views, but that's not depth-data. If you actually want depth-data outside, can you scan in bright sunlight with the BLK360?

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Dan Smigrod: -No issues.

Mike Chawaga: -No issues, yeah. For a retail space... It's perfect for a retail facade where you can get that outdoor data and that depth information that would compliment the Matterport depth-data.

Dan Smigrod: -It sounds like for two reasons, outdoors one is actually to get the depth-data to be able to scan successfully if you do need the photography, it can do the quality photo spheres to construct the virtual tour, digital twin that we think of as Matterport, and also get higher up on the facade. 60 feet, how many stories is that about?

Mike Chawaga: -Probably about four or five stories.

Dan Smigrod: -If you have a building, a warehouse, and it's four or five stories the BLK360 on the ground should be able to capture the scan points of the exterior where the Matterport camera would have trouble for two reasons. One, because of the technology that the Matterport Pro2 uses for depth-data. It's not going to be successful, typically outdoors, nor be able to capture the height that the BLK360.

Dan Smigrod: Going back to the use cases for BLK360, you mentioned a retail space, I think a warehouse. What's the use case of scanning in a totally empty warehouse?

Mike Chawaga: -We see a lot of warehousing logistics companies coming in and they're planning their shelving, and then also with this camera – the LiDAR data of the Matterport – we also pull some spot elevations in certain areas, not across the entire floor, but you identify a ramp and how high that would be. Ramp pre-fabrication would be one, measuring ramps and how big they need to be and then omni-channel retail. If an empty warehouse is being scanned, that's just to put the shelving in there and get the general layout right.

Mike Chawaga: Then what we're seeing is that after we're scanning the facility maybe four or three months after, they had their facility fit out and they want to move the shelves around. They'll come back and they'll use the data again and shift to optimal layout for retail, and then the exterior data would be for signage and then also graphics in the windows; print graphics. Pull that information off there, and then also the bigger signage....

Dan Smigrod: -This is super helpful. If I'm a Matterport Service Provider, my ears perking up because I'm trying to think of, "what else can I do other than residential real estate?" I can't do some of the things you're describing with the Pro2 so it may actually be the motivation to buy or rent a BLK360 in order to be able to have additional verticals that the photographer can service.

Dan Smigrod: What other verticals or what other use cases does a BLK360 – particularly paired with a Matterport platform – enable?

Mike Chawaga: -We did some parking lot scans and some streetscape scans or even scanning on the individual facade. It's nice to have one camera, one file. We'll go and scan a facade for under a 100,000 SQ FT in Philly and quickly draft it up because it's like 10 minutes outside just to walk the grass side of the street there.

Mike Chawaga: We use Matterport separately paired with BLK360 for large old industrial buildings. I can show you a good example of that.

Dan Smigrod: -Why don't we take a look at a couple of scans. As you're showing us, maybe that'll spark some more discussion. What makes the BLK360 unique? You want to go ahead and share your screen there? I think so. While you're showing us some examples, I think that will help talk about some more use cases and some more reasons where the BLK360 excels using it paired with a Matterport.

Dan Smigrod: Why don't you tell us what we're looking at here and how it was shot.

Mike Chawaga: -This is the first BLK360 scan I did, because the Matterport obviously in here had a lot of issues. I got up to this wall. This is all BLK360, you see in the shadow here, here's the instrument.

Dan Smigrod: -Did you try shooting this space with the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera? Because I'm looking at it, the two things that come to mind are that the space is too big. There's no common points to get successful connection of scans. Maybe I can get to the ceiling. What were the problems that you experienced by doing this?

Mike Chawaga: -We started doing this. We got this whole room done. We're Iike, yes we did it and it's working, and then we started having issues at this; at this pillar here. This is in 2017 and we were really just getting started.

Mike Chawaga: We tried to make rooms with paper basically wrapping them around each column. It was a nightmare. We had to scan a bunch of times, and then we ended up getting the BLK360 in here and we got this done in about six hours.

Dan Smigrod: -Did you try AprilTags?

Mike Chawaga: -We tried everything. We tried all the AprilTags. We were building with paper, these big spools of papers through each thing and trying to create room. It's pretty obvious on the ground. Got it done and the walls were all bad. That's the number one thing that we look for when it comes to Matterport data is: wall bending, windows flaring out, scans on top of each other. We've really been picking apart the Matterport data this last year for that information.

Dan Smigrod: -This is probably a really great example for a Matterport photographer using a Pro2 that if you're asked to quote on this space, you can expect multiple issues. I don't even know if the least of which would take you forever even if you could be successful.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. It was six [models], it was brutal. It was freezing cold in here. But yeah, I mean, we've learned a lot. Because we could not scan this property, we bought a BLK360.

Dan Smigrod: -That enabled you to scan in a reasonable amount of time, not have scan connection issues, the size of the space was no longer a problem. I could imagine that the client needs to know about the level of the floor. Is that an issue?

Mike Chawaga: -All they wanted for this was a wall-to-wall, like As-Built 2D floor plan drawing. That's all they needed.

Mike Chawaga: Wherever you run the data through Matterport, it's going to really make the data lower quality as you can see here, lots of light. This looks actually much different than the point cloud the file produces. When Matterport renders it, it makes the file smaller.

Dan Smigrod: -That probably begs other questions, but if you could go back maybe just to the dollhouse for a second. At the very least, the dollhouse actually you could see the ceiling, and to your point, if you needed the infrastructure, I'm not sure it was helpful. Was it helpful in this space or actually it was helpful to know where those beams were for somebody that's trying to do an installation in there?

Mike Chawaga: -It was good for – What the developer did with our CAD drawings was send it to the 30 contractors that were bidding on this project to do the roofing installation, just to get a general estimate, to do the floor estimations and get all of his bids in on the front-end of the project. This project just finished. This was adaptive reuse for an Amazon site. It was an Amazon site. They blew this entire wall out. It's interesting, I get it into the spaces as technology is rolling out you start

Mike Chawaga: seeing your projects come to fruition. The data has been used.

Dan Smigrod: -In this case, was it the owner or is it the property manager?

Mike Chawaga: -It was the owner with a request from the architect.

Dan Smigrod: -At that point there wasn't even a general contractor on the project. This was actually probably used even to help general contractors get their hands around understanding the scale and the scope of the project. Because they understood this space in a dimensionally accurate way.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah, accurate enough for their take offs and planning, just to get a general bid in there.

Dan Smigrod: -Okay. I think you mentioned that you use the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera on this scan as well.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. Right here, you can see it's the BLK360 on this scan. You can tell by these lines that are drawn in the data and the photosphere. As you see, we jump to this lily pad here. This is Matterport data. You can see the image gets crispier.

Dan Smigrod: -Sure that's not a hockey puck? ;-)

Mike Chawaga: -Where's it at? Up top here?

Dan Smigrod: -I've never heard it called the lily pad. I like that. I've heard spins, scans but now we got lily pads.

Mike Chawaga: -I like hockey puck too, the lily pads.

Dan Smigrod: -Okay. Lily pad, I might start using that.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah.

Dan Smigrod: -I see a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera here.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. This is where I jumped, you see. Right here, you don't have to have them right on top of each other, but you definitely want them within 5-10 feet of each other when you switch the cameras. To scan this right here, this is probably about five offices in here. To scan that with the BLK360, it would probably take two hours to do this one BLK360 versus a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, we're in and out of here in 20 minutes.

Dan Smigrod: -The advantage of a Pro2 is speed versus a BLK360. In this space, going into the office space that the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, it was a better choice. You could have done it with the BLK360, just would have taken a long time.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. That's the thing. You got to ask how soon your client needs that information. There is a big one that we've been asking this year, are you okay with the conceptually designing from a Matterport versus a BLK360 scanner? It's just all about sharing your scanner tolerances with them.

Dan Smigrod: -What's the difference in accuracy between a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera and a BLK360 related to the point cloud data that the client actually needed you to create, I want to say drawings from.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. The accuracy on the BLK360. It's a true scientific instrument for measuring, so that's going to be consistent every time. The Matterport data is a different animal because you really have to be just looking at data coming in as you're scanning. They say within 99 percent accuracy, which is really hard to explain to a lot of clients. We break it down and talk about the scanning. There is no scale necessarily for the Matterport.

Mike Chawaga: But the BLK360, that's what you have when you shoot 20 meters at plus or minus 6 millimeters.

Dan Smigrod: -I don't want to ask you for anything that is confidential. I don't know if you have it, but do you have the work output that you created from this project?

Mike Chawaga: -I think I do actually. Not this file.

Dan Smigrod: -Or if you could show us an example of where you take it to the next step of which is deliverable to, even showing us a point cloud.

Mike Chawaga: -Right. This is that raw data. It's much more valuable. As you could see here, if your lighting fixtures and locations. Let this render for a second. But this is that raw information that makes the design and planning process very certain. There's no if, there's no 6" difference in some situations. This is the process that's unifying this point cloud.

Mike Chawaga: What's called a point cloud registration is what we do after we get off site, we load this Matterport data or BLK360 data or other linear scanner data into what's called registration software. Then that's where we get the file accurate and ready for the design softwares.

Dan Smigrod: -So you went a little bit fast for me. You went a little bit fast. Is this ordering a Matterport MatterPak? Is that the next step after the scan has been processed?

Mike Chawaga: -Yes. The Matterport workflow to direct the point cloud looks like this, where you buy this Materport MatterPak.

Dan Smigrod: -Yes.

Mike Chawaga: -Then what you do. Let me find one we've already purchased.

Dan Smigrod: -Okay. Then I see also that Matterport has recently added a scan-to-BIM (beta) option as well. I don't know if you've had a chance to use that yet. If so, if you can go into that in file Beta.

Mike Chawaga: -Absolutely. The scan-to-BIM that Matterport creates is similar to what we do in the sense that they're creating these 3D models. Going back to what we're talking about with the point cloud workflow initially, so here's Matterport MatterPak. I just downloaded it. This is the XYZ file. Then you're going to take that XYZ file and put it into Autodesk ReCap.

Mike Chawaga: That's your point cloud portal.

Dan Smigrod: -Is that a proprietary process that you go through to bring; is that the XYZ file that you're bringing into Autodesk ReCap?

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. You're just taking this XYZ file. It's not proprietary, Autodesk makes ReCap. So if you have any of the CAD softwares, you should have ReCap with that. You just import this into ReCap and it will render this type of file: as a point cloud. You'll see it in... Here's the program. Sorry Dan, let me see if I can.

Dan Smigrod: -That's okay.

Mike Chawaga: -You can think of Autodesk ReCap right here, if you look closely. This is how the raw data information comes in.

Dan Smigrod: -Hang on, you're going a little bit fast for me, Mike. You're in Autodesk ReCap, a software program that enables you to import an XYZ file and that XYZ file is one of the deliverables that are available in the Matterport MatterPak.

Mike Chawaga: -Correct. Yeah. That's

Dan Smigrod: -Once you have it in ReCap, then what happens?

Mike Chawaga: After it's in ReCap, you want to trim data like this. This is just coming off the ceiling, probably some lights. You want to trim the data. Matterport is nice. When you import the Matterport cloud into ReCap, it's zero-point round the plane. It sits very similar to this, so it comes in nicely. Then you export this file from ReCap into an RCS file. That's an option in ReCap, I'm on a Mac right now or I'd show you.

Dan Smigrod: -That's okay. Then the RCS file can then be imported into programs like SketchUp and Revit?


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Mike Chawaga: -Correct.

Dan Smigrod: -Okay. Before we lose half our viewers here, I think probably the important thing to say is if you're a Matterport Service Provider or you're using a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, you don't actually have to understand any of what Mike is showing us now. Your client is going to tell you something like, "I need my file in Revit or in SketchUp."

Dan Smigrod: At that point, I want to say, you send an email to Mike: or you go to and you say, "Hey, I'm about to do a Matterport + BLK360 scan. Once I have my Matterport Matterport MatterPak, can you convert that file into a .RVT – a Revit file or a .SKP file,

Dan Smigrod: SketchUp file?" And you say,

Mike Chawaga: -"Yes." Absolutely.

Dan Smigrod: -That's one of the services that Robotic Imaging offers. Therefore, all the stuff we're showing you today I think is super-interesting to see that you went from Matterport + a Leica BLK360 to create a Matterport digital twin

Dan Smigrod: by the Matterport Add On of a Matterport MatterPak that includes a .XYZ file that then can be used by a company like Robotic Imaging to convert it to whatever file format, whatever CAD file format that the client ultimately needs, which is typically a .RVT or. SKP file.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah, or .DWG.

Dan Smigrod: -Or .DWG. Awesome. Do you have just an example, maybe if we could go back, you were showing the raw data as a point cloud, but I think you also talked about the kind of file that you deliver to the client. What the client needed in this case, was it some kind of drawing in a .DWG file?

Mike Chawaga: -Yes. I can show you the .DWG, and usually, if it's a .DWG File, they can be in 3D, but primarily they are just 2D drawings, interchangeable. You see .DWG, if they want 2D CAD. This is an .RVT file and what we think is the future of all drafting. The adoption rate for architecture firms into 3D Revit: that's what this is, has been somewhat slow, but it's picking up because of the digital twin movement.

Mike Chawaga: Everything here can be drawn interior and exterior, down to that millimeter if you're close enough to the object.

Dan Smigrod: -Who drew this?

Mike Chawaga: -We did.

Dan Smigrod: -You drew this by using the Matterport digital twin that was using a Leica BLK360 camera and maybe in conjunction with the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera, bought the Matterport MatterPak converted it into Autodesk ReCap, exported it into Revit?

Mike Chawaga: -Correct. Yeah.

Dan Smigrod: -But it didn't look like this.

Mike Chawaga: -It didn't look like this. We had other scanners on this site. I don't want people to think that they can just rip a Matterport and get this information by any means. We use the Matterport to help us through certain areas like the tight rooms and closets. It's faster to extract that information if you can just section off a point of a big building like this, and just keep the Matterport. The bigger open areas where the ceilings are higher than 12 feet, you're going to want to use the BLK360 or other higher grade scanners.

Dan Smigrod: -Was this the open warehouse that you were showing us or a different project?

Mike Chawaga: -No, this is a school

Dan Smigrod: -That's fine. You deliver this to a client. What do you call this or you just call it a Revit file?

Mike Chawaga: -A 3D architectural Revit model.

Dan Smigrod: -3D architectural Revit file. Then what does the client do with this?

Mike Chawaga: -The client throws this into Revit, which would be their design software. They will start placing the objects in here that they want to fit the facility out with. They start going through their design process. They start doing their schematic designs, mostly from this. It's really just a plan. A plan more efficiently, faster and more accurately.

Dan Smigrod: -This is typically done when a building exists, but there was no CAD originally done or they can't find the CAD or the building has changed so much since the original building, that even if you looked at the original CAD, it's really not helpful.

Mike Chawaga: -Right.

Dan Smigrod: -This is really where the architect begins their work of renovation, re-imagining how that space might be used.

Mike Chawaga: -Right. Exactly, Dan. If you have a marketing one-pager for this type of work, those are the hot buttons, and you'd say your building doesn't have any drawings. There's buildings out there in a commercial space that just don't have any information yet.

Dan Smigrod: -What did everybody do before there was Matterport, before there was laser scanners?

Mike Chawaga: -They're still doing it. They'll hire students to go out and just point and shoot, measure, build their line drawings mostly. Then they take the field measurements from their iPad now and then just start drawing it in Revit manually without a background.

Dan Smigrod: -Is that how the majority of architects are working today?

Mike Chawaga: -Still to this day, but it's getting pretty cool. We're seeing that a lot of architects you call nowadays and they're like, "We're really thinking about that, we are thinking about getting a laser scanner." It just happening the last year, it seems.

Dan Smigrod: -I'm looking at the detail, the precision, the accuracy of capturing an existing space and I'm thinking, if an architect went out and measured for themselves and took pictures by themselves or even sent an army of students to go out and capture, they could never capture the level of detail. They probably can only take key measurements of the space, which means they probably have to keep going back to the space and back to the space. ...

Dan Smigrod: Every time there's a question about the ceiling because they only told you the ceiling was this length and this width or maybe here's where the six pillars were and how wide the pillars were, but they don't have everything in between. They have to keep going out and measure or take pictures again.

Mike Chawaga: -Right. Matterport is really popular for that type of work. Just confirming, counting. Really just counting and making sure that that's where it's supposed to be, that matches the drawing.

Dan Smigrod: -Well, I'm going to try and get us back on to Matterport, but it looks like you wanted to show us something super-interesting here. I love that. What is it that you want to show us?

Mike Chawaga: -Yes. I'll pull up the virtual tour for this. This is another example that we were talking about where we scan this entire thing with the BLK360 using the Matterport Capture app. Let's see.

Mike Chawaga: This is an example of a File, Dan, of a 100 percent BLK360 in this facility.

Dan Smigrod: -I'm sorry, could you take us widescreen on that so we could see a little more detail? Yeah, thank you.

Mike Chawaga: -All right. You can see here that these traditional errors in the BLK360 is just not mastering the light like Matterport has master.

Dan Smigrod: -This is shot totally with the BLK360?

Mike Chawaga: -Correct.

Dan Smigrod: -Was this using the Matterport platform or was this done –

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah, this is using the Matterport Capture app.

Dan Smigrod: -Matterport Capture app plus a BLK360. Entirely shot with BLK360. Right now we're seeing that photography view of it.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah and you can see it's a little washed out, it doesn't get you your blue sky. Then again, this is low density. This does not have HDR turned on. If you did have HDR turned on, you could expect to get rid of all this white.

Dan Smigrod: -But to the point of the use case, we haven't discussed the use case, but I would imagine marketing this space as is – was not high on the list.

Mike Chawaga: -No. Yeah, they just want a rough and dirty Matterport. Then the use case for this is a historical application. We need to model all of these brick soldiers up here, which you can see up here: 90 percent on this project. But they need all these things to a quarter of an inch.

Dan Smigrod: -Why?

Mike Chawaga: -for the historical board to get passed through the municipality. That's the kind of documentation that is required to touch this older building here. Another application from a laser scanning standpoint that I can mention briefly here is we had to inspect all the steel and the base pair here. What we did was just taking videos and embedding them in here and just, you know, so if you're servicing an architect in this space and you need to get close-up steel or they didn't know how many plates are on that?

Mike Chawaga: Yeah, sorry how many plates are on it. We'll take close up photos like this so the architect can inspect it if you look at our architecture's documentation workflow and they're out there with their cell phone doing all the videos like this. If you have a semi-geo specific location of tagging the Matterport, it's really a nice organizer for all your field data if you could just tag it in there. That's what we had to do for all of these beams.

Dan Smigrod: -All those tags are videos?

Mike Chawaga: -All these tags are just close up videos of the conditions of these old steel here. You can see this thing is ready to come down.

Mike Chawaga: Our Revit modelers: our CAD drafting team, Dan, we'll have that Matterport tour. Then they'll be drafting in that .RVT file: that detail.

Dan Smigrod: -I think what I was hearing Mike was yet some more use cases. Clients needed to get the okay of the zoning board or a historic building prior to beginning construction, and to do that they needed a lot of – a very detailed level to be able to capture the architectural features of that building.

Dan Smigrod: Presumably we're going to keep that in their final design as being part of what is historic about that building. I'd love to keep asking you about use cases. I'm interested in two things. Use cases for BLK360 paired with a Matterport. Also if it teases out anything else that's unique about that BLK360 when it's paired with Matterport. I guess probably one that we haven't talked about: it's just

Dan Smigrod: easy, maybe you've mentioned that it's super-easy.

Mike Chawaga: -It's super-easy. The price tags are daunting though with all LiDAR instruments (all Leica instruments). But it's super-simple and it's great technology; it's durable. I think it's more enjoyable to scan with because you had [90 seconds], It's collecting a lot bigger space than say every 30 seconds of moving the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera. I think having that in your toolkit to go outside – whether you're doing a marketing tour or an architectural scan would be reliable.

Dan Smigrod: -Yeah, I'd probably say for a busy, successful Matterport Service Provider or a company that is looking at our WGAN-TV show today, it's probably worth saying that you don't have to make the leap. I want to say it's $19,000+ for the BLK360. That doesn't have to be the first step is you could rent, try experiment as a first step,

Dan Smigrod: contact Robotic Imaging and say, "Hey! I'd like to rent a BLK360" and go from there.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah cool.

Dan Smigrod: -I'm also going to guess if I have an opportunity because they're companies in the We Get Around Network Forum who are looking for BLK360 + Pro2 Service Providers. If you have an opportunity to quote on a job, do not think, "Oh! I don't have a BLK360, I'm not eligible: even though it's in my market." The answer should be, "Oh! I'll just rent a BLK360. Figure that into my quote back to the client."

Dan Smigrod: I shouldn't have – correct me if I'm wrong – but I should not have one iota of angst about how to use a BLK360 paired with the Matterport Capture App?

Mike Chawaga: -Now, yeah, I don't think there is anything to be worried about. We can jump on the phone and can walk you through it on-site. I paired a Leica BLK360 with a standard tripod: the standard Manfrotto tripod. We bought your package Dan when we got started – with just a leveling mount – that's a $90 attachment to the top of the tripod: that traditional Matterport tripod stand; and you're good to go.

Dan Smigrod: -I want to say, with the Leica BLK360, I should probably get the tripod that's designed for the Leica BLK360, no?

Mike Chawaga: -No, I don't think so. I mean, we don't use it. .. In that property that we were scanning and it fell off on the first time using it. The stand got too hot and snapped off the top.

Dan Smigrod: -Wow! What did Leica say?

Mike Chawaga: -"We're sorry! Here's another scanner."

Dan Smigrod: -Probably the best investment that Leica made. Now that you are super-busy, Robotic Imaging is super-busy doing BLK360 and also an authorized reseller of Leica BLK360 scanner/cameras.

Dan Smigrod: I want to rack your brain. What other use cases? Maybe you don't even know. Client calls up and says, "I need this space, I need a scan." You don't even know what they're going to use it for or do you? I'm going to guess you do, because you almost have to understand what level of accuracy they need in order to be able to answer the question, and I'm guessing unless you know what the use cases; it's super hard for you to know whether you're going to have a happy client because they could just say, "I want it scanned" and you go ahead and scan it and they say,

Dan Smigrod: "Hey, it doesn't match up with my BIM model."

Mike Chawaga: -Anyone that says that they want – For anyone that's coming to scan with you for the first time, is going to look at the scan data and say, "everything that is in the scan data. We want everything." That wastes a lot of time drafting and it's also really expensive to get all that detail. Approaching local architects and asking them, "what do you need to see measured?" What's important to you, and you have your generic 10 items you could run off: floors, ceilings, windows, doors. We have a list that we send clients.

Mike Chawaga: For that specific project they might need to see more detail on how tall the basement is because they're dealing with that one thing that's mission-critical to get the project through. The little analysis or the little note section you can have on your Request for Quote form where they can plug in that information, the little details and notes on what they're looking to accomplish is key. Because usually if you're dealing with anyone in the construction space, it's always mission-critical, cost and time.

Mike Chawaga: We see the local architects – and the small to mid-level developers – bringing an awesome market-to-service that we've done really consistent work for. You lock arms with an architecture firm, they might send you everything that comes across their desk just to quote and see if it makes sense.

Dan Smigrod: -Are most of your clients architects. Or are they general contractors or yet something else?

Mike Chawaga: -Mostly architects. I don't know how they adopt technology, maybe it's slower than the general contractors. They don't have a virtual and construction department where they buy one laser scanner. It's in the closet that they use quarterly. But it's mostly architects. Hey, here's your as-built drawing and model. If you're dealing with laser scanning in the construction realm, they're going to want specifics like where the concrete slab came out compared to the drawing.

Mike Chawaga: Can you scan this and compare it to where the design drawing is? They like the clash detection. They like the analysis.

Dan Smigrod: -Can you explain clash detection?

Mike Chawaga: -Clash detection is taking the design model – how it's supposed to be, and overlaying it on the point cloud or model or another model that was derived from the point cloud. That's typically done in Autodesk Navisworks. And that's where you can see the deviation versus cloud model and draw a line, so you see how close you are to reality.

Dan Smigrod: -Well, shouldn't the BIM model that was designed to say this is what the project is going to look like when the building's built? Shouldn't it be identical, and there's no clashes?

Mike Chawaga: -Right, exactly. That's a great tool, you'd understand why the general contractors want that camera on their side of the fence. They want to have that in-house. Just go and check any sub-work that's been done.

Dan Smigrod: -I want to say that my understanding of clash detection is that 15 percent of a budget on a multi-million dollar project is related to errors that are made during construction. If you can catch the clashes throughout the building process, then your chance of having very expensive errors – because it wasn't built as it was designed –

Dan Smigrod: could save the general contractor, perhaps the client tens of thousands, if not millions of dollars.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. That and safety.

Dan Smigrod: -What does safety mean in this?

Mike Chawaga: -Just install something wrong or if there's a hard-to-reach area, go out and measure that hard-to-reach location 200 meters from the ground to get that steel I-beam up there. Yeah. They might be doing that scan.

Dan Smigrod: -Given that using a BLK360 with Matterport could save clients, first I want to say gobs of time. I don't know if that's a real word, gobs, but a ton of time in getting to the as-built, as opposed to taking a bazillion photos, taking a lot of leisure measurements, and then somebody actually taking the time to redesign the space the way it is,

Dan Smigrod: which I can imagine architects hate to do because they want to do their work, not the building 30 years ago. I can imagine it saves a ton of time, and I also can imagine if you could help cut down the 15 percent error budget that's been built-in to the budget, that you could charge more for a scan that was a BLK360? Can you make more money doing Matterport scans using a BLK360 rather than just the Matterport Pro2?

Mike Chawaga: -For sure, and just more dynamically you can say you can scan any environment. If you're scanning a construction site where there's no roof on it and sunlight is pouring in. You can just do that. A lot of people use Matterport in the construction space it seems for punch list items. The younger guy goes and just runs the camera, throughout the site, and then they send it to all the stakeholders. They checking off their punch list items in the office, and so that would be every two days you'd see someone run through a camera like that.

Mike Chawaga: Again, the BLK360, it had a threshold for property size too, so I wouldn't use that camera on anything more than 20,000 SQ FT, probably.

Dan Smigrod: -The Matterport Pro2 3D Camera.

Mike Chawaga: -Matterport Pro2 3D Camera with a BLK360 or just a BLK360. Yeah, I wouldn't go above 30,000 SQ FT using that raw data, so there are certain thresholds for architectural purposes.

Dan Smigrod: -Even a space that's over 30,000 SQ FT for the purpose of the architect getting to that as-built. I think what I'm hearing is there are other solutions that you would prefer to use. Is that yet a different laser scanner?

Mike Chawaga: -Yes. Same family as BLK360 but we use the Leica RTC360. There's Trimble systems out there that are really cool, FARO scanners out there that are really cool.

Dan Smigrod: -You're mentioning some other brands, I'm going to say $40,000. $60,000. $80,000. $100,000. $200,000. $250,000. You could spend $1 million presumably on a laser scanner, which goes back to the question of how accurate. But I want to say that's really beyond our scope for our audience who are Matterport Pro2 3D Camera users: either a Matterport Service Provider or an end-user, perhaps in an architect or a general contractor.

Dan Smigrod: I think what I'm hearing is, if the space is bigger than 30,000 SQ FT, they should probably talk to you, and that probably means you offer consulting services in order to help people stay out of a pickle?

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah, absolutely. Any complex structures or scans or how-to-scan planning? Be happy to help there or drafting and modeling as well.

Dan Smigrod: -One thing that we were looking at in the Matterport Workshop were Add-Ons. And one of the Add-Ons was Matterport MatterPak, but there was another Add-On there that said Matterport Scan-to-BIM (Beta). Today is Thursday, November 4, 2021, Matterport Scan-to-BIM (Beta). Can you talk a little bit about that to the extent that you've used that and how that's different for a workflow?

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. We have not used it yet. We've experimented with the pricing calculator that they had, it's still twice as expensive and twice as long on site than what we do, but we'll see.

Dan Smigrod: -There's an opportunity there. For those who are watching this WGAN-TV show, and you might say, "Well. There's a solution called Matterport Scan-to-BIM," and you can buy from Matterport a Revit file, a SketchUp file that Matterport converts, or you could contact Robotic Imaging and say, "Hey, I'm thinking about using this Matterport Scan-to-BIM (Beta). Here's the scale and the scope of our project," and ask

Dan Smigrod: you for a quote on the exact same deliverables, and I think what I'm hearing is you're very competitive.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah. We were competitive – the whole industry is competitive – with Matterport. I think they rolled that out and we're like, "Oh, that's really interesting." Do the pricing calculator, they were like, "Oh, this is awesome," because they're helping educate the market. All we've been doing the last few years, we are spending time on it. What we do is just educating; just explaining ourselves versus just going to bid versus going to this many proposals all day.

Mike Chawaga: It's a good thing from an education standpoint that they'd gotten into it, and we are surprised that that's what they're doing in a great way. Have we ordered one of the models yet via Matterport scan-to-BIM? I think we've downloaded one of the samples they have there. They look really good. It's just all about how to drive in the data and what scanner you're using to pull that information, and just being certain that the application is at the service of the client and what their okay with.

Dan Smigrod: -Are there other things that we should be talking about aside from Matterport + Leica BLK360 or really you've answered that to say, "Hey, if you get over 30.000 SQ FT, there's likely to be other solutions. Call us." If you're about to take on a project and it looks like it's over your head, call you.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah, totally. We're happy to help you scope, create proposals.

Dan Smigrod: -Or even be part of it. Because I think there's this gap, which is the client, and the client knows that they've heard of Matterport, they've heard of Leica BLK360, and they're saying, "Oh, you can go out and create my SketchUp file." I think you should be scratching your head if you're a Matterport Service Provider and say, "What is a SketchUp file – a .SKP file – and how do I get that? Can I get that from Matterport?" Before Matterport Scan-to-BIM (Beta),

Dan Smigrod: the answer was, you couldn't; you would have to convert that file. You talked about that earlier in the show today. The piece I would say for Matterport Service Providers is don't be afraid just because you don't understand how you go from a Matterport digital twin to a SketchUp file, because the answer is, you get the file converted and you can contact Robotic Imaging and they could do that for you

Dan Smigrod: or you can experiment with Matterport scan-to-BIM (Beta) and be able to order it as well. Even if you go that route, you still might find it helpful to have somebody hold your hand on this process who may be able to be competitive in terms of pricing. Also, probably help ask the questions that you need to ask your client.

Dan Smigrod: If the client just says, "I need a Matterport MatterPak or I need scan data or I need an XYZ file," there's probably some questions that you got to ask the client in terms of what they expect for deliverable, probably to some extent what you started to talk about in your checklist, accuracy and to what level of detail that you need.

Dan Smigrod: I'm guessing here, Mike, that Robotic Imaging can be the super-person that come in to rescue the day by helping you get over the 100 yard line, if that's the right metaphor.

Mike Chawaga: -Again, that first commercial scanner, industrial scan, that new vertical going, we'd be happy to help, and we're excited to create some content with you to share, Dan. We're making some videos about it. Maybe we can discuss whiteboard sketches on how the scanner works, the how-to videos, and that good stuff.

Dan Smigrod: -Yeah, that actually would be awesome. I think of Matterport Service Providers as having the skill, the knowledge, the capability to do projects for architects and general contractors in the construction space for AEC, and to be working on As-Builts and to be doing construction progress documentation.

Dan Smigrod: When the client needs the next level of detail, either because the Matterport Pro2 3D Camera can't see high enough or it's not appropriate for the size of the space or can't go outside or it's not fast enough for capture for whatever concern, that there is a solution, this BLK360. Again, if the price of $19,000+ it may be appropriate to rent before you buy,

Dan Smigrod: before you find out. It sounds like this could open up a huge amount of business in other verticals. To be charging way more money than a Matterport Service Provider maybe in residential real estate, because as I heard you say earlier in the show, Mike, the scan data is way more valuable and certainly way more valuable to Robotic Imaging clients than the visual.

Dan Smigrod: It's the end data, it's the data that has value.

Mike Chawaga: -Totally, but you need them both. We draft twice as fast because we have a Matterport pulled up on another screen and the LiDAR data in Revit or CAD. It's a perfect marriage when it comes to field existing conditions data.

Dan Smigrod: -Awesome. Matterport + Leica BLK360. Is there any question I haven't asked you about Matterport + Leica BLK360 that we should chat about?

Mike Chawaga: -I think we have covered it. You're the expert here too.

Dan Smigrod: -I'm learning just like everyone. I'm so thankful that you've taken the time to be on the show today to talk to us about Matterport + Leica BLK360.

Mike Chawaga: -Yeah, thanks so much for having me, Dan. Excited to do it again.

Dan Smigrod: -Awesome. We've been visiting with Mike Chawaga. Mike is the Co-Founder of Robotic Imaging based in Philadelphia. That said, they scan across the United States and even around the globe in conjunction with other Matterport Service Providers that are using a BLK360 or even other scanning platforms. For Mike in the greater Philadelphia, I'm Dan Smigrod, Founder of the We Get Around Network Forum,

Dan Smigrod: and you've been watching WGAN-TV Live at 5.
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Video: Robotic Imaging Scan -to-BIM Portfolio #LiDAR #ScantoBIM | Video courtesy of Robotic Imaging YouTube Channel | 26 May 2022
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