When was the last time you wanted to have a 3D model of an indoor environment? Remember what a hectic it was to use several laser scanning devices to get it?
Well, if you have ever experienced that then you would know what a pain it can become. For that very reason, Researchers at the California University in Berkeley have created a laser backpack which is portable and easy to carry around, and is capable of mapping any area. The idea here is to make the scanning process easier. So, the user would simply need to wear the laser backpack, and roam around the area he or she wants scanned.
The project of creating this portable laser backpack was funded by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Army Research Office. They funded it because they know how important the device would be for military personnel as well. Imagine how helpful it would be for their missions to get instant mapping of a place or environment.
The backpack uses sensor fusion algorithms for creating textured 3D models. To do so, it combines the information it gets through the cameras, inertial measurement units, and the laser rangefinders. It wouldn’t have been possible to make this backpack work without all these components to create 3D models.
To experiment, the scientists at the University have already mapped out two floors, and the mappings were pretty impressive. They now plan on mapping buildings and other huge areas to check out the effectiveness of the backpack. Also, they plan on adding creative interactive viewing hardware, which would make the backpack capable of mapping buildings before they actually enter it. All of that would take some time though, but it would be truly wonderful to see such a backpack.
Currently, it is being said that this backpack is the first one designed and developed for the US military. They believe by designing more of such things, it would be easier for military personnel to carry on their missions successfully.
So, right now I guess we all need to give a big round of applause to all those hardworking scientists for their efforts. Good job guys!