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ISIN contributes to the READ project for digitisation in the real estate sector
20 September 2022
The Institute of Information Systems and Networking (ISIN) of the Department of Innovative Technologies is an academic partner in the two-year READ (Real Estate Advisory Drone) project for digitisation and innovation in the real estate sector. A press conference to present the project was held on Saturday 17 September.

Funded by Innosuisse, the Swiss Agency for the Promotion of Innovation, the project aims to introduce new tools for carrying out real estate appraisals, ensuring greater flexibility in the execution and accuracy in the results.

«Today, property appraisals are performed by an expert on site with a cadastral map and tools such as laser pointers to survey the property and check its consistency with the map itself. In this way, the accuracy of the measurements is affected by the manual skill and experience of the surveyor,» explains Andrea Quattrini, Researcher at ISIN and project leader. «Through READ, we intend to free these operations from the role of the surveyor. To do this, we have developed a mobile device equipped with specific sensors that can be sent directly to the site of the expert's report, allowing anyone to collect the data».

The solution developed as part of the project is based on the SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) technique, which makes it possible to exploit LiDAR-type sensors and cameras to obtain a 3D reconstruction of the property. By moving a tablet around the environment, the operator can obtain a real-time visualisation of what he is measuring on the device's screen, making the operation intuitive and executable by anyone.

«Operationally, the tablet can only frame, instant by instant, a narrow field: it is therefore necessary to move the device and combine the various local measurements to obtain a global reconstruction that is as complete as possible,» Quattrini continues. «Even in this case, the accuracy of the measurement and 3D rendering depends on many factors, such as the proximity of the partial shots or the material of the framed objects, but the reconstruction error of our device is within the centimetre range, which is perfectly acceptable for the application in question».

The READ system was used inside the Vittoriale degli Italiani, Poet Gabriele D'Annunzio's house-monument on Lake Garda. The objective was twofold: to 3D map the interiors for the development of interactive tours and technical real estate analysis, and to facilitate the correct positioning of objects after relocation.

The realisation also involved the DTI's Institute of Systems and Technologies for Sustainable Production (ISTePS), as well as industrial partners QBT Sagl and Science Adventures Sagl.

«The READ project exploits the potential of a tracking camera to estimate the position of the operator moment by moment and a time-of-flight sensor to measure the spatial coordinates of thousands of sampled points in the scene,» continues Ambra Vandone, researcher at ISTePS. «These instruments work very well in closed spaces where lighting conditions can be controlled. For the future, we plan to extend the measurements outdoors by changing the type of sensors and employing techniques such as photogrammetry for which, however, longer processing times may be required».

«The READ project represents an evolutionary leap in the approach to real estate surveying: the possibility of reconstructing three-dimensional rooms in a few minutes using a tablet, the transformation of 3D maps into cadastral plans with the possibility of taking measurements on them, the automatic recognition of rooms, objects in rooms and construction imperfections. It is a great step forward for a sector that generates significant financial numbers such as real estate,» concludes Alessandro Barazzetti, founder and R&D manager of QBT Sagl.

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