Onodera : First of all, at the regular inspection site, we do the chalking then take a picture of the cracks.AI automatically extracts it later, so it’s no longer necessary to sketch the shape of the whole cracking area as was done in previous inspection work.
Watanabe : It’s good to reduce the amount of onsite work! It used to be a matter of sketching then tracing, which opened up the possibility of errors, but now the process is simplified so it’s much better! By the way, taking photos has always been an essential part of the inspection work. But can inspectors still take their photos with the same cameras as before?
Onodera : Yes. They can shoot with the same equipment they used in the past. For example, in the case of inspection companies, they can automatically generate a complete drawing from images taken with a tough digital camera that can be used under harsh conditions. In the case of companies that do repair work, they sometimes use equipment such as a single lens reflex camera and tripod, and even with that, analysis from the images taken is possible right down to the finest details like the size of fine cracks.
Watanabe : If they don’t have to get new equipment, then there’s not much of an entry barrier for customers introducing this new service!
Onodera : We particularly emphasized the ease of introduction for our customers when we developed it. The“Infrastructure Photo Analysis Cloud Service” is a Cloud service, so you don’t need to buy expensive specialized software or special equipment. As long as you can connect to the Internet with your own PC, you can use continually evolving AI, and after checking the extractions of the cracks and chalking on the preview screen, you can purchase each image at a unit price of several hundred yen. That’s the flow.
Watanabe : It’s good that the introduction cost is low and that you can purchase the images after checking the cracks and chalking extraction results! Could it actually be used on this notebook PC?
Onodera : Yes! It’s easy to operate. Please have a go.First start up the “Infrastructure Photo Analysis Cloud Service” and log in.If you select a folder containing photos already taken, that folder will be uploaded to Fujifilm's Cloud.After that, AI pastes the photos automatically and displays the extracted images of cracks and the chalking.
Watanabe : It’s really easy! It feels like using a photo album Internet service!
Onodera: No specialized study is needed to use the “Infrastructure Photo Analysis Cloud Service”. It’s one of the strengths of the service that anyone can use it straight off. If you’re satisfied with the analysis results displayed here, you push the order button and you will be charged only then and not before. You can also display any size of cracks in 0.1 mm increments, edit the cracks and chalking, including adding or deleting, and calculate the length and breadth of the cracks. Results can be downloaded in the format the customer chooses. Currently, the results can be saved in all three formats — JPG, DXF and CSV.
Watanabe: Preparing reports, repair estimates and other documents is easy using the various data downloaded!
Makino : Ease of introduction and operation are big advantages, but as a service for detecting cracks and chalking, the main strength of the “Infrastructure Photo Analysis Cloud Service” is still its detection accuracy. Applying the technology and expertise built up in the medical field, Fujifilm has absolute confidence in the accuracy of this service. And since AI evolves rapidly by learning, as a result of many people using this service, its detection accuracy will improve further in the future. By continuing to evolve the “Infrastructure Photo Analysis Cloud Service”, we believe we can contribute to resolving customers’ issues.
Watanabe : It’s really gratifying that detection accuracy improves as people use the service! The “Infrastructure Photo Analysis Cloud Service” continues to evolve with AI learning, but what about the future prospects for it?
Onodera : Right now we are offering services for the domestic market, but the social issue of safety is the same right across the world. The need for assessments of aging concrete structures also exists overseas, particularly in Europe and the United States. We would like to contribute to the safety of people living in those countries by offering this service all over the world.
Sato : While we kicked off our service with the urgent social infrastructure issue of bridge and tunnel inspection, roads are another vital inspection target. In addition, residential dwellings like condominiums require large-scale repair works every 13 years. We would like to steadily expand the range of this service, a non-destructive and efficient inspection method, so we can preserve the safety of concrete overall. And with the use of drone and other robotic photography growing, we have set ourselves the technical goal of accurately analyzing the images taken with a range of devices to help protect the safety of engineers carrying out the onsite inspections.
Makino : Our technology is designed very much as a support service for inspection engineers. The final judgment is to be made by people with expert skills. In the sense of giving professionals the information that makes it easy to make a judgment call, our service will have a wide application ranging from offering information on time-related deterioration in the case of buildings, to checking whether buildings were built according to specifications when newly built structures are handed over, to predictions of future danger based on data, and suggesting optimal repair methods and materials. In this way, we intend to evolve the new service in the direction of Fujifilm’s healthcare values of prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Of course, this is no easy task. However, if we collaborate with people in various fields and organize our technologies around the desire to resolve social issues, I believe that we can do it and I think we must do it.
Watanabe : Thank you very much for today!