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Earth Input Devices The Military Technology

A Portable Laser Backpack For 3D Mapping 66

Posted by timothy
from the overkill-for-osm dept.
wooferhound writes "A portable laser backpack for 3D mapping has been developed at the University of California, Berkeley, where it is being hailed as a breakthrough technology capable of producing fast, automatic and realistic 3D mapping of difficult interior environments. ... The backpack is the first of a series of similar systems to work without being strapped to a robot or attached to a cart. At the same time, its data acquisition speed is very fast, as it collects the data while the human operator is walking; this is in contrast with existing systems in which the data is painstakingly collected in a stop-and-go fashion, resulting in days and weeks of data acquisition time. It utilizes novel sensor fusion algorithms that use cameras, lasers range finders and inertial measurement units to generate a textured, photo-realistic, 3D model that can operate without GPS input and that is a big challenge."
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A Portable Laser Backpack For 3D Mapping

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  • Re:Cavers (Score:3, Informative)

    by beej (82035) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @03:46AM (#33618260) Homepage Journal

    Speaking as someone who actually does cave survey, I dream of devices like this, I tell you.

    You guys might be amused to learn that one of the most powerful pieces of cave survey tech we currently use is a custom-built device called the Shetland Attack Pony, but it has nothing on this backpack thing.

  • It's called lidar... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @05:04AM (#33618448)
    and it is nothing new. it's been flown in planes (by the USGS to map the coastline of the US), attached to vehicles of all kinds. Yes, the easiest data collection system is one where the lidar is motionless (except the scanning head, of course) so system motion doesn't have to be backed out of the data, but we've been putting lidar on so many platforms that it is nothing really new to put it in a backpack.

    It's like the difference between a 1Gb thumb drive and a 2Gb one. Same technology, smaller package. Advances in MEMS sensors for acceleration and position make knowing the position of the lidar base much easier and more accurate. This "advance" is really nothing that anyone knowlegable in the art couldn't predict or produce.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2010 @05:52AM (#33618602)

    More information here [berkeley.edu]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 18, 2010 @06:14AM (#33618686)

    Unless, of course, the lidars out there right now are small enough to carry by a single human and fast enough to scan at a walking pace. In which case, yes. Just more of the same.

    They are, and have been for quite a while.

  • by Beezlebub33 (1220368) on Saturday September 18, 2010 @07:24AM (#33618888)

    False positives would be no big deal if you've got enough laser sources - its not going to hurt to "blind" a false positive reflection.

    Unless it's my eye!

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