Feb.17, 2014

Police in the Australian state of Queensland has started using a handheld laser scanner to capture data and create a 3D map of a crime scene, including in areas where there is no GPS reception.

The police use the Australian developed Zebedee laser scanner, a LiDAR scanner that has been in use across the world since 2010, primarily for environmental and architectural purposes, such as creating the first 3D map of the interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Police will use the handheld Zebedee laser scanner to quickly generate 3D imagery of areas. Because the device doesn't rely on GPS, it can be used to map crime scenes in indoor locations and rough, natural terrain.

In a paper published in 2012 Michael Bosse, Robert Zlot, and Paul Flick from the CSIRO outlines the design of the Zebedee: the Zebedee comprises "a 2D time-of-flight laser range scanner rigidly coupled to an inertial measurement unit and mounted on a spring."

As a user walks through an area, the Zebedee's LiDAR scanner rotates while emitting laser beams capturing the surrounding area. Software processing then uses the data to construct a 3D model. It can collect over 40,000 range measurements in a second, according to the CSIRO.

"The mobility of the Zebedee sensor as a handheld device allows access to most environments accessible to humans, including rough, natural terrain and stairways," the paper states.

"Further to the experiments presented here, we have deployed the system in applications including large-scale assembly plants and indoor spaces, as well as mapped natural environments that would otherwise be inaccessible to standard 3D mapping systems."

Queensland Police said the Zebedee 3D scanner allowed the operator to walk through a crime scene and capture data to generate a 3D map in about 20 minutes, cutting down "thousands of hours" in investigation time.

The QPS has so far only purchased one Zebedee device at a cost of $37,000 and it is primarily being used by Forensic Services to map crime scenes. But it plans to get more devices for use in the Forensic Crash Unit.

Queensland police are not the first law enforcement agency to use 3D scanning technology. The Roswell Police Department in the U.S. has recently also acquired a Faro 3D scanner which is utilized in major accidents and crime scenes.

"The 3D data visualizations that Zebedee creates provide a wealth of spatial information quickly and easily. It's just a walk in the park!" said Queensland Police Commissioner lan Stewart.

"The benefits of this new technology will reduce interference at a scene, save time and allow access to previously hard to reach areas such as step declines and bushland," said Stewart.

Posted in 3D Scanning



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alvaro wrote at 2/18/2014 4:31:04 AM:

It sounds like the scangen technology of tv series "Crossinglines"

Lee Bennett wrote at 2/17/2014 9:44:55 PM:


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