5 Tips for working with a Robotic Total Station


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Get the best possible return on investment with these suggestions

If you already work with a robotic total station, it's clear the trend to work digitally is already within your company. But do you actually know what all you can do with your total station? The following tips can help you get the best possible return on your company's investment by making use of all the possibilities with regards to efficiency.


1. Save time thanks to Hybrid Positioning

Unique to Topcon’s total stations is that they are equipped with Hybrid Positioning. This allows you to set up your total station using a GNSS receiver. Simply put, that just saves you loads of time. Previously, several fixed points on a job were chosen by default and given coordinates. These points are measured with respect to existing environmental elements. Then they are delivered to the planner or the person working with a total station. This person scales their building plan to the known points in the area. After scaling, the drawing is fed into the field software and, outside, it is measured what needs to be done. The process is time-consuming. That is why, in this case, Hybrid Positioning is a good solution. In that case, you fit a GNSS receiver on top of a prism. You then measure two arbitrary points. Based on these points, the total station positions itself and you can immediately start measuring in the field. A third point is needed for checking, but that is all you will need.

You must meet one of these two conditions in order to apply Hybrid Positioning:

  • + You must work in a known coordinate system
  • + Or you have to create a localization, where you still measure a known point in the receiver


2. Create a seamless worflow with full compatibility for Autodesk software, among others

The use of Autodesk software such as AutoCAD, Civil 3D, and Revit is commonplace within both the construction and civil engineering sectors. Topcon has full integration between Autodesk and MAGNET Suite Software. You therefore do not have to convert a design drawing to a Topcon custom format, but you can read it straight into MAGNET Field so that the design can be plotted. It also works the other way around. If you need to measure an existing situation, you can easily export it as an AutoCAD drawing, which can be imported directly into Civil 3D or Revit. No trouble with converting, scaling, or rotating. Your Topcon total station can learn from you and how you work with data.


3. Deploy a total station in every step of the construction process

Your total station can be used in every step of the construction process as an indispensable tool.

  • Step 1 — Planning and measuring:

  • The total station is used from the start to visualize the current situation in a new project. In order for a design to fit into the existing situation, it must first be mapped out.

  • Step 2 — Design and layout:

  • Once the design is created, it will have to be transferred, in several steps, from a digital design to actual reality. This is done with a planner with the total station accurately to the millimeter.

  • Step 3 — Execution and checking:

  • Construction is progressing steadily. But is the construction being carried out as designed? Through continuous checking with a total station, errors are prevented from creeping into the project afterwards which must be repaired later at great cost.

  • Step 4 — Manage and maintain:

  • Once the project is completed, regular maintenance is required. This may mean that new or additional installations have to be implemented. This requires accurate information to be collected on the state of the project. A total station is also indispensable in this process.

It goes without saying that the steps described are not always handled synchronously, but that vital geo-information on a project must be obtained and be available at all times.


4. Utilize MAGNET Field Onboard

The intuitive MAGNET Field measurement software is generally used on a separate field computer that is carried along with the prism, which is tracked by the total station. Depending on the type of total station, measurements can also be made on precision stickers and even without reflectors, so directly on walls, partitions, and beams. For measuring on stickers and reflectorless measurements, you can stay behind your total station to aim and measure directly at your measuring point. The measurement can then be performed on the total station itself via MAGNET Field Onboard. Therefore, you do not need an external field controller for this. The full version of MAGNET Field Onboard is supplied as standard with every total station at no additional cost.


5. Invest in Topcon product training

It only makes sense to invest in training in tandem with your investment in a total station. You and your team can gain an understanding of how the total station can work for you and your workflows. Topcon Solutions offers training in all relevant areas. From hardware to software, for all kinds of sectors and applications. All construction work can also be followed in real time thanks to the new technology. Our team likes to teach our customers how to view the right data at the right time and how to work with it. The field of expertise for many is changing for surveyors, engineers, and designers, but also that of office workers. We also support our customers in these types of changing work processes. Attend a Topcon training course at a training center near you.


Curious about all the possibilities a Topcon total station can provide? Read more about the Topcon GT-Series.

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