A revolution in mobile indoor mapping
GeoSLAM launch the next-generation ZEB-REVO mobile hand-held 3D laser scanner
GeoSLAM – a joint venture between CSIRO (Australia’s National Science Agency) and UK-based 3D Laser Mapping, have launched the next-generation ZEB‐REVO mobile hand-held 3D laser scanner.
The ZEB‐REVO builds upon the success of its predecessor, the award-winning ZEB1, with a faster scanner, even simpler operation and greater versatility. At its core is GeoSLAM’s industry-leading Simultaneous Localisation And Mapping (SLAM) algorithm, which facilitates rapid mobile mapping of enclosed environments without the need for GPS.
This versatility renders the ZEB‐REVO suitable for a large variety of applications that would otherwise prove difficult or time-consuming using traditional survey techniques, such as scan‐to‐BIM and measured building surveys, underground mine and cave mapping, and stockpile volume surveys.
Similar to the ZEB1, the ZEB REVO captures 43,200 points per second. However, the sensor line speed has been increased to 100Hz, producing 2.5 times the number of scan lines. When combined with the auto‐rotation of the sensor head, a marked improvement in the resolution, cleanliness, and structure of the resulting point cloud is achieved, facilitating the identification of smaller features and assisting in the production of better‐quality SLAM registration results.
‘The ZEB‐REVO has been designed with versatility in mind,’ said chief technical engineer Ric Durrant. ‘The autonomous head rotation allows the REVO sensor to be hand-held but also backpack or pole mounted, trolley or vehicle based, or even attached to a UAV. Such versatility opens the doors to a wide variety of applications.’
Weighing just 3.5kg, the mobility, simplicity, and versatility of the ZEB-REVO, coupled with an IP64 rating, means the system can be deployed in multi‐level, harsh environments such as mines and caves that would simply not be possible with other trolley-based indoor mapping systems.
Comprising just two elements (scanner head and data‐logger/battery) and two cables, the kit is assembled in seconds. Within one minute and two button pushes the scanner head is rotating and ready to survey. After initialization (and with the data‐logger stored in a handy backpack), the scanner is ready for 3D data capture to commence. Data are collected at walking speed, making the surveying process up to 10 times faster than traditional survey techniques.
Mark Reid, chief operating officer of GeoSLAM, said: ‘The speed of survey and simplicity of use achievable with the ZEB‐REVO is set to disrupt the market, blurring the lines between the role of the surveyor and the technology‐savvy end-user.’
The ZEB‐REVO has a scan range of up to 30m indoors and 15–20m in outdoor environments. The unit features a 55GB data logger, on to which all scanned data are stored. File size is, however, minimal compared with other terrestrial scanning solutions, meaning that up to a month’s worth of data can be stored without clearing the data logger. Once acquisition is complete the compressed data is downloaded to a USB stick ready for registration.
Automatic SLAM registration is achieved by either uploading to the GeoSLAM cloud (via an internet connection) or by local processing using the new GeoSLAM Desktop. The GeoSLAM cloud offers a pay-as-you-go model using pre‐purchased credits, thereby minimizing upfront capital expenditure and helping to make the technology accessible to all.
For high-usage users or those customers who wish to view the registered data while in the field, GeoSLAM Desktop offers a solution. With unlimited processing and drag ‘n’ drop automatic registration, GeoSLAM Desktop can be run on a laptop or tablet. Once registered, the resulting LAS file can be post-processed directly in most industry-standard point-cloud and CAD packages.
Graham Hunter, managing director of GeoSLAM, said: ‘The ZEB‐REVO fulfils a new niche in the market for ultra‐mobile indoor mapping solutions. Our early adopters have been thoroughly impressed with the ease of operation, vastly reduced scan time and accuracy of the resultant point cloud, all from surveying just one closed loop. It won’t be long until the ZEB‐REVO is a ‘go‐to’ standard in the surveyor’s toolkit.’