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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Upgrade of ZEB1 mobile mapping system announced

 
August 22nd, 2013 by Susan Smith

ZEB1, a truly mobile handheld rapid laser mapping system from 3D Laser Mapping, has been used to explore Aboriginal cave markings in South Australia. The strange markings, called finger flutings, were thought to have been left in the Koonalda Cave between about 30,000 and 10,000 years ago.

These finger flutings are the creation of hands dragged along existing grooves in soft limestone cave walls. It’s amazing they have lasted this long as the limestone is very fragile and crumbles easily at a mere touch. With the help of the ZEB1 handheld mobile mapping system, researchers have been able to create a detailed 3D Survey of the cave system. Combining this 3D survey data with high resolution photographs and analysis of the flutings,  archaeologists from the SA Museum can analyze them.

The ZEB1 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 laser measurements into 3D fields of view. Its ability to self-localise makes ZEB1 ideally suited for use indoors, underground and in other covered environments, such as dense forest and urban canyons, where traditional solutions that utilise GPS don’t function well. The 3D survey of the caves, created using ZEB1, can be analysed in detail using CAD-type visualisation software. The data can also be used to create physical reconstructions of the caves using 3D printers.

Just this week, 3D Laser Mapping announced they have made the ZEB1 mobile mapping system easier to use, more portable and more reliable with the inclusion of a unique data recording system.

According to press materials, the handheld ZEB-DL2600 data logger automatically records, in real time, the millions of individual laser scanned measurements captured by the ZEB1, eliminating the need for an additional laptop. Developed by
3D Laser Mapping it is a fully ruggedised (IP65) bespoke system which incorporates an embedded Intel Atom dual core processor and 64GB solid state drive in a tough aluminium enclosure.  Data capture and data download (to external USB storage device) is fully automated and controlled by simple tri-coloured status LED’s. The device also includes an integrated Lithium battery pack that powers both the data logger and ZEB1 laser scanner.

Developed by CSIRO, ZEB1 uses robotic technology called Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). The ZEB1 system includes a lightweight laser scanner mounted on a simple spring mechanism which continuously scans as the operator walks through the environment.

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Categories: GPS, mapping

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