DAVID – low cost solution for 3d laser scanning using everyday tools

DAVID 3D scanning

Yes, it looks like something from Star Wars, but it is in fact real and even better, actually affordable! In fact, using common, everyday toys that most us “geeks” have laying around our houses, we can start playing with this ourselves, because the software is free. All you need is a PC, webcam, a background corner, and a laser to project the line onto the object you want to scan.

Think of the possibilities this type of application can have in robotics? One rather obvious idea comes right away; a wheelbot, crawler, or humanoid has this software built onto it, walks into a room, scans it, and has an entire 3D map of it’s environment! Yes, I know, this idea already exists, but not on a modular level whereas it can be implemented in any robot.

“DAVID (Definetly Affordable Vision Device) has been developed by the computer scientists Dr. Simon Winkelbach and Sven Molkenstruck from the Institute for Robotics and Process Control, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany. The concept has been published as a paper at the German Association for Pattern Recognition (DAGM, Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Mustererkennung)and can be downloaded here.”

The technology does have some limitations right now, such as the object being scanned has to be against a corner in a room or in front of two planes with an exact angle of 90° right now, but it looks like they are constantly improving the capabilities of this software. What’s really cool, is that it is written using the .NET Framework 1.1! Take a look as some of the screenshots:

DAVID Depth 1
DAVID final

via Hack-A-Day DAVID Homepage

2 Responses to “DAVID – low cost solution for 3d laser scanning using everyday tools”

  1. Bob Mottram says:

    It probably wouldn’t be too difficult to build a low cost laser scanner for robotics use. You can buy spinning lasers (used to make sure that fittings in a room are installed at the same level) for only about £13. If the laser was angled down at 45 degrees so that it produced a line on the floor this line could then be detected using a webcam. As the robot encountered objects the shape of this line would change, allowing the construction of a detailed 3D model.

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