3D Laser Mapping has signed an exclusive agreement to distribute what is thought to be the world’s first, truly mobile, hand held, rapid laser mapping system. Developed by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency and licenced from GeoSLAM (a UK based start-up company) the Zebedee indoor mapper allows for fast data capture, without complex set up or the requirement for lengthy data processing. The competitively priced Zebedee, now exclusively available from 3D Laser Mapping, can be used by surveying novices, in areas without GPS coverage, capturing accurate 3D point clouds at speed.
"Imagine a scenario where you arrive onsite and within five minutes your equipment is unpacked and is ready to go," Dr Graham Hunter, Executive Chairman, founder and head of the research division of 3D Laser Mapping, commented. "As you walk around, holding Zebedee in one hand, you capture millions of measurements of the environment – whether it be an office, warehouse, manufacturing facility or mine – all with minimal set up and without the need for additional equipment or personnel."
Developed by CSIRO, Zebedee uses robotic technology called Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). "For the first time, users can reliably and cost-effectively map spaces in 3D in real-time," said Dr Ian Oppermann, Director of the Digital Productivity and Services Flagship at CSIRO. "SLAM enables a suite of 3D mapping applications to be developed in wide ranging areas including education, cultural heritage, security, environment, property, emergency services and safety."
The Zebedee system includes a lightweight laser scanner mounted on a simple spring mechanism. As the operator moves through an environment the scanner loosely oscillates about the spring producing a rotation that converts 2D measurements into 3D fields of view. Its ability to self-localise makes Zebedee ideally suited for use indoors, underground and other covered environments, such as dense forest and urban canyons, where traditional solutions that utilise GPS don’t function well.
"The research team, from CSIRO’s Autonomous Systems Laboratory, have taken their world leading robotics localisation technology and cleverly adapted it to enable hand held, real-time laser scanning in full 3D", Dr Oppermann said. "This technology will open up new areas for scanning such as difficult to access and complex cultural heritage places."
"Processing the data is just as easy," Dr Hunter continued. "There is no need for expensive software or high end computers, neither do you or your client need lengthy training. The laser scanned measurements are automatically processed on remote servers monitored by highly trained and experienced support staff."
By partnering with 3D Laser Mapping, CSIRO and GeoSLAM are benefiting from their wealth of experience in the development and real world application of laser scanning solutions. The partnership also ensures users of the Zebedee system can utilise 3D Laser Mapping’s existing data processing facilities including remote servers, sophisticated software solutions and dedicated support staff.