LIDAR-equipped robot maps dangerous areas in 3D so you don't have to

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|02.23.10

Sponsored Links

LIDAR-equipped robot maps dangerous areas in 3D so you don't have to
Looks like the kids at MIT might have a little competition for their LIDAR-equipped 3D mapping drone. Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have teamed up with the University of Missouri-Columbia for a prototype robot that uses light detection and ranging (similar to RADAR, but with lasers) to map areas and send the 3D data to a nearby laptop. The technology not only provides detailed info on floor plans and physical structures (such as possible structural damage) but it can also "see" people inside a space. There are many possible applications for this, from spotting terrorists hiding in caves to seeing if your new internet girlfriend really looks like her profile pic, or -- and this is especially important in the modern era -- seeing if your new internet girlfriend is actually a terrorist (we wondered why she wanted that first meeting to take place in a cave). "Once you have the images, you can zoom in on objects and look at things from different angles," says Dr. Norbert Maerz, associate professor of geological engineering at Missouri S&T -- an ability that we wish we had while browsing PlentyofFish.com.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget