A 3D mapping technology announced earlier this year by Australia’s science agency CSIRO is being used to help map what might be the world’s oldest cave etchings. During December, CSIRO scientists undertook an exploration on behalf of the Adelaide museum, in which they took the technology known as Zebedee into the delicate …
I assume the sprung suspension is to reduce shocks and sudden movements that might affect the accuracy of the inertial positioning system. Does anyone know if it uses a ring laser gyro, or something else?
No, Zebedee is mounted on a large spring:-
The system uses a 2D LIDAR that can only detect distances in a plane. The spring is to give it a random pattern to ensure it scans in all directions more-or-less evenly. The readings from the LIDAR are then combined with the information from the accelerometer/gyroscope (can't remember which) to produce a 3D map of the environment in which the scan was taken. It's basically a LIDAR-on-a-spring-on-a-stick that you hold while walking around a cave.
Managed to see them demonstrate it when our robotics class went on a field trip to the Autonomous Systems Lab (along with a bunch of other cool stuff) and it was really as simple as walking around while holding it to get a 3D map of an area.
Zebedee in a cave?
I always found Zebedee to be a bit dark and evil.
Dougal was my fave!
Nice to see...
...that inertial navigation's still useful. I learned my trade in Ferranti's Inertial Systems Development lab in the '70s, working beside some of the smartest guys on the planet.
I could, if required, still write machine code for the hand-built 8 bit computer which controlled the systems (memory was hand-knitted magnetic core from Hong Kong, as I recall).
We all know how this will end.
In an adequate, yet slightly disappointing even though we knew we weren't going to get what we were hoping for, trip to a far distant planet, wherein we discover the origin of life and weird inky black stuff that tries to kill us.
They'd be better off leaving the cave etchings to just fade away into nothingness - curiosity didn't kill the cat... but it did kill Harry Dean Stanton when he went looking for it.
How gloriously simple!
I would be suprised if they gathered a full 3D image with a spring mount though.
I designed something a little similar in the 90's, but I had a couple of mirrors to bounce the beam around, and could never get over the magnetic effects of the stepper motors driving them, so in the end that (and babies) forced it to be dropped. (I had inclinometers and magnetometers to work our which way up and in which direction the box was pointing when the laser was spinning round)
I matched the current 3D readings to the last set I took, a second before, to work out if/where I had moved and so did not have to worry about the harshness of bumps that the kit would take. Where there were junctions in the passageways I used to note these on the UI, and when I returned to this spot to map the other exits at the junction, I used this to identify the spot (I just could not get an accurate match up automatically if I had turned off the box on the return from the first passage end which I had to do to preserve battery life)
I even had a website to catalogue caves across the world, but the search engines of the internet superceeded what I had achieved. <GRUMBLE> And when I closed down the site, the hosting organisation kept ignoring my requests to close my account (every month for over 2 years). AFAIK it (Fishnet) is still sending ever increasing bills to the defunct email addresses 8+ years on! </GRUMBLE>