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Austrian start-up Sodex automates essential construction processes

Sodex Innovations has released a range of new technologies to automate the construction industry.

The company says that, through this system, the surveying, documentation and billing of each excavation will be largely automated.

Effort, time and costs are to be minimized for construction companies in the area of administration. And this with an assistance system mounted directly on the excavator.

The company from Austria names this system SDX-4DVision, in order to show the uniqueness directly in the name itself.

The surveying of the construction site is done continuously, which means that in addition to the physical dimensions, time is also included in the data – the fourth dimension. This means that every step in the excavation process can be accurately tracked.

A limited edition is already available directly from Sodex Innovations (to the product).

The system with a combination of laser and camera technology enables the highest accuracy as with present surveying equipment. However, the advantage of the SDX- 4DVision’s is the “very high level of detail”.

Due to the large amount of measurement points per minute, namely more than 38 million, the software reconstructs the original terrain as a 3D model fully automatically.

This also “completely eliminates” the need to manually survey the original terrain. Exporting the current terrain in a wide variety of formats at any desired time is also possible.

Especially in documentation and billing, Sodex Innovations has great advantages with several functions. For the comprehensibility of documentation and billing, users can use so- called “snapshots“.

Ralf Pfefferkorn, co-founder and CEO, says: “In order for our users to have the most comprehensible documentation possible at any point in time, a time interval can be specified in which our system automatically saves the 3D model of the current terrain and, in addition, images of the operating area.”

Sodex Innovations also offers a solution for billing with an innovative function that is not available in any kind so far. With one click, the machine operator can select which type of material is currently being moved.

The system subsequently determines the volume moved and thus provides a list of the volume moved per material class. In addition, the hours and cubic meters moved per excavator attachment can also be determined.

To be able to process the data afterwards, the SDX-4DVision offers the possibility to export the 3D models in the conventional formats. Performance records can also be saved in a wide variety of files for easy further processing.

SDX-4DVision can be retrofitted on any excavator, regardless of size and brand, without major conversion work. However, Sodex Innovations also offers the possibility that already installed systems are integrated to reduce the installation of additional components.

Pfefferkorn says: “For us it is important that our customers can achieve maximum benefit with minimum effort.

“The integration of already installed assistance systems gives us as well as the customer the possibility to combine the advantages of two systems and to save costly retrofitting time.”

The DeepTech-StartUp from the west of Austria can now look back on four years of development and a very successful past. Two years ago, its 2.5 ton prototype could already autonomously excavate small pits (Sodex – First autonomous excavation ).

In various competitions, the concepts and business plans of Sodex Innovations were awarded, but also financial support from the AWS, API Foundation or the Startupland Vorarlberg Initiative could be successfully achieved in 2021.

Additionally, the team is supported by investors Armin Strbac – who joined as a mentor on the show 2 Minutes, 2 Mentors in 2020 – and Katharina Klausberger, the founders of the app Shpock.

Armin Strbac says: “The Sodex team never ceases to amaze us with their great competence, a steep learning curve and a seemingly never-ending motivation and commitment. This team is going to get a bunch of things going! Katharina and I are very happy to be part of it.”

What once started as an idea of a team of three has grown over time to a group of 10 people from various backgrounds.

However, Sodex Innovations can also count on broad support and many collaborations with companies from the construction industry, especially construction equipment manufacturers, as well as construction and technology companies.

Pfefferkorn says: “For us as a development team, it is particularly important that we convert our technological background into a clear added benefit for the construction industry.

“Many conversations with numerous construction companies have therefore brought us to the topic of surveying in which we want to offer an automated solution to accelerate the construction processes with the SDX-4DVision.”

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