For engineers in the reality capture and digital twin space, 14 November 1991 would prove a red-letter date. That’s because it’s when Oxford University Press published David Gelernter’s Mirror Worlds: Or the Day Software Puts the Universe in a Shoebox… How It Will Happen and What It Will Mean. This insightful article will explore the pluses and minuses of static vs mobile scanning as it relates to the world of AEC.
From an article on PBC Today by Amanda Hidalgo.
In his prescient work, the computer scientist-turned-author envisioned the world of tomorrow – a world where physical reality is represented, perfectly, in digital form; a living document detailing in real-time every nuance of the communities in which we live.
Thirty-two years later, for all practical purposes, we are living these predictions. Thanks to 3D laser scanning technology, stationary terrestrial and SLAM-based mobile (simultaneous localisation and mapping) every day, millions of physical assets around the world are being turned into virtual models of digital data.
Two roads, one path
But in the nearly 60-year history of terrestrial laser scanning, and the somewhat shorter history of mobile scanning, the two related but different technologies began charting separate paths.
Companies building terrestrial laser scanners (TLS) boasted of the technology’s increasing accuracy and precision, with applications ranging from reverse engineering and quality control to forensic analysis for public safety, to point cloud-based modelling for the architecture, engineering and construction industry.
Mobile scanning companies, aware of their products’ data granularity limitations, instead promoted their technology’s speed of data capture, ease-of-use, cost savings, and mobility.
Today, however, these once-divergent roads are linking up. It’s a transformation led by innovative companies on both sides of the reality capture industry and it’s happening for two reasons:
The realisation that especially in AEC and mining applications, the mobile versus stationary bifurcation has proved more nuanced; there are in fact many examples where both high-resolution terrestrial scans and fast lower-resolution mobile scans are useful in a single project.
Advances in SLAM-based software algorithms, data processing speeds and online and offline workflows are helping bring stationary and mobile scanning technology into unified hardware and software systems – in these scenarios, mobile scanning devices are essentially doing “double duty” bringing the best of both worlds together.
In other words, “good enough” may still be “good enough” for the vast majority of mobile scanning applications.
For the complete article on static vs mobile CLICK HERE.
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