Laser mapping is an exciting new world. Ok it isn’t a new world it isn’t even a world. It is however an exciting tool. There are a number of interesting products in the space as well.
First there is Spike from IKE. It is a tool that fits onto your phone or tablet. It allows you to measure objects in space using a laser measurement system and their software. It called laser measurement but you don’t measure an entire object, simply a number of points within an object.
I wrote a blog for CloudTweaks a few weeks ago about the concept of modular drones. In that article I talked about using Sonar Balls like Deeper and other products attached to a drone. Using this you can utilize the drone to map and measure a body of water. You wouldn’t use laser mapping for that activity as water has this funny tendency to shift to fit the shape and shift to fit pressure.
Laser mapping however does offer some interesting opportunities. I talked about fighting fires in my CloudTweaks post. Using heat sensors to locate hot spots. Or using a series of drones to find lost hikers. Drone based laser mapping offers a number of valuable services that will benefit people. First you can run drones 40 feet off the ground up and down highways mapping them every night. Why? Because you can catch potholes and dispatch patch crews to them quickly. Using technology to get ahead of problems. Cost of the drones 5000. Cost of drivers hitting potholes and suing the city? A lot more than 5000 dollars.
There are many more applications. Laser mapping allows for surface mapping of roofs and other building surfaces. As Solar becomes more and more prevalent it will benefit the solar companies to be able to create a laser map of the roof they are about to build on.
The modular drone concept will allow companies, governments and rescue groups to very quickly access situations. Variances in existing structures, finding lost hikers and fighting fires. As the distance from camera to ground increase (currently most do not function as effectively above 60 feet) you will be able to send a drone over a roof to map it before putting firefighters on the roof.
Beyond that? Map a surface with a laser mapping system and then move it over to a 3d printer. Create a relief map of the surface using the 3d printer. Why a relief map? So you can examine it in 3 dimensions as the real object is.
Just another connected physical system (CPS) heading our way…