CSIRO is pushing the boundaries of 3D mapping with its groundbreaking handheld laser scanner, Zebedee. The Zebedee is transforming the ways in which we are able to digitally experience unknown environments, as it possesses the ability to map locations which were previously too challenging to measure.
This capability is attributed to the fact that firstly, the Zebedee is a handheld device, and secondly, the Zebedee uses CSIRO’s robotics localisation technology rather than relying on GPS. This means that the Zebedee can easily navigate its way through complex surroundings such as rough terrain or stairs, collecting data along the way.
With a 30m range and an industrial grade measurement unit, the Zebedee rocks back and forth as it continuously scans its surrounds, collecting over 40,000 range measurements every second. These measurements are then projected onto a common coordinate frame to generate a 3D point cloud mesh.
The point cloud data is then combined with photogrammetry to create a digital replica of the real life environment. What this means is that the data from the Zebedee can be used to replicate the surfaces, features and details of natural environments such as coalmines, caves and forests. Pretty impressive!
It’s not surprising that CSIROs Zebedee technology has achieved the following awards:
- Winner of the 2013 ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology
- Winner of the 2013 Australian National iAwards for Research and development
- Winner of the 2013 Queensland iAwards for Research and Development
Where are these 3D maps being used?
The Zebedee technology is changing the ways in which industry sectors are able to research, analyse and understand various natural and man-made environments. The 3D maps have a range of scientific and commercial applications in education, cultural heritage, security, environment, property, emergency services and safety.
We are excited to be a part of this revolutionary technology, which is enabling us to bring real-life environments to classrooms across Australia.
IntoScience currently hosts a range of digitally created landscapes including the Asian Woodlands, the Biodome and Energy Island, but through the CSIRO partnership, IntoScience will be providing students with the opportunity to explore environments which are replicas of real-life locations.
The first project is framed around the legendary Jenolan Caves, and over the past few months we have used the Zebedee technology to map the interiors of this natural wonder.