ABB has developed a new laser scanner for volumetric measurement applications. The VM3D Volumetric Laser Scanner was designed to measure the volume of bulk material stockpiles stored in the open or in large silos, bunkers, domes and sheds.
The system combines high accuracy laser sensors with remote monitoring and data processing services for measurement of all visible surfaces of any texture, granularity, slope and/or colour.
I think this is the interesting part, “The system sends raw data over 3G phone networks to the ABB data centre. The data is then examined using building blueprints to find a baseline and inventory depth. The analysis removes artefacts from the volume estimates like machinery and building structures. The volume estimates have less than two per cent error for volumes greater than 100m³.”