Laser-firing backpack effortlessly creates 3D maps of buildings

With just the flip of a switch (and a student to lug it around), UC Berkeley's laser-scanner-studded backpack automatically creates 3D maps of the world around it. Walking down a hall? While that's going on, a digital replica of said hallway is showing up on a computer.

Along with a bunch of laser scanners, the backpack also has sensors that let it know where it's at and takes pictures of the structure around it. Just like stitching several pictures into a seamless panorama, the software governing the 3D reconstruction turns it into a detailed map.

Just think: in the future, Google Maps could compliment its street view with the actual interiors of famous buildings. The backpack would make constructing virtual tours a snap. Check it out in the video below.

UC Berkeley, via Engadget

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