There are few (if any) areas these days that aren’t being affected and improved by modern technology.
In this particular case, that technology is lasers.
Already boasting a strong presence in a host of industries like healthcare, semiconductors and lighting, laser technology just got a jolt of high-tech innovation to make its mark in more areas.
A team at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia has developed the world’s first hand-held, spring-loaded laser scanner that’s essentially a high-tech mobile mapping tool.
3-D Innovation… Aussie-Style
Formed in 1926, CSIRO is the Australian government’s national science agency, responsible for research and solutions in 13 different areas, including energy technology, the environment, food and agriculture, earth science and natural resources, land and water, and communications.
Well, CSIRO’s Autonomous Systems Lab just came up with its latest breakthrough solution – a laser-scanning device called Zebedee that’s literally changing the way we see objects.
So how does it work?
Using robotic technology called Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), as a user walks around with the Zebedee, the spring sprays the light from the laser around naturally. So when it’s fired onto buildings and other structures, it captures millions of detailed measurements and turns boring 2-D views into much deeper, more in-depth 3-D maps.
As a result, it’s the first device that allows surveyors, architects and archaeologists to map an area in 3-D in real-time, giving them unprecedented new images of a previously less-detailed environment.
As Kelly Greenop, an architecture professor at the University of Queensland, states: “It’s a huge archive of 3-D points, so you can go through and cut sections and cut the roof off to see what it’s like inside. You can see what the surfaces look like, you can see the cracks in the walls and where the holes in the floor are.”
Here’s a video of Zebedee in action…
Not only that, but because Zebedee is lightweight and mobile, the process is fast and requires less setup and equipment. Pictures and measurements are sent directly to a server for analysis, with results coming back in just minutes or hours, versus the days or weeks it could take a surveyor or architect to put traditional 2-D images together.
Needless to say, with 3-D views able to give greater insights into various structures, the potential is significant. And a British company called 3-D Laser Mapping knows it. The firm has already licensed CSIRO’s technology, with the goal of selling Zebedee internationally.
Ahead of the tape,