Thursday, August 1, 2013
Laser range scanners and huge touch screens
Some of the other people in our lab were demoing things that they have done recently and I snapped a few photos of some of the cool things. We have a huge touch screen monitor (that cost us something like 8 million yen; 30% more than my yearly salary) and they were using that for showing things.
The coolest thing they showed was the results of them driving around inside our campus with a laser range scanner strapped to the car. They hooked it up to an Android phone with a GPS and could then click on a map of the campus and show a 3D plot of the surroundings there. The details were very nice, and you could see trees, pedestrians, bicycles, etc.
You could also see where there were holes in the road (some parts of the university ground have bad roads), and the idea is to use this in winter time to find areas where the road conditions are bad. For instance places where there is so much snow on the sides of the roads (after plowing the road; windrows) that the road is too narrow, or places were the road surface is very uneven from tires spinning and digging holes in some places (this is called 算盤道路 "soroban douro", roughly "abacus roads", which is a funny word to use).