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Posted by on Sep 25, 2012 in Technology |

MIT develops a system to map the interior of buildings in real time

MIT develops a system to map the interior of buildings in real time

When Google introduced nearly a year ago Google Maps 6.0 for Android, one of the details that caught my eye was the navigation inside buildings, bounded functionality to a small group of unique buildings but constantly expanding thanks to crowdsourcing ( since Google encouraged businesses to send data from their establishments). The location inside is something we’ve seen over and over again in film and television (especially spy movies) but, really, is not as widespread as you might think since there is not always available cartographic information. With the idea of mapping real-time indoors and, for example, to locate members of a fire brigade, MIT has developed an impressive vest capable of lifting a plane with the floor of a building and send , real time images of the surroundings and the position of the person wearing the system.

This system, like something out of a Mission Impossible or delivery of any film in the series of James Bond, is a vest that has attached a Kinect from Microsoft (which is what is responsible for capturing images or information on depth) and a laser measuring device (a rangefinder) that is responsible for performing the layout of the walls (based on the reflections of the laser beam on the walls). The idea is to capture all the information from the environment (in an arc of 270 degrees) and transmit it wirelessly to a computer that is used to draw the map in real time and also locate the user who is doing the work of sensor.

While the system is a prototype, the idea of MIT is that it can evolve to become a building block with which to provide any emergency equipment, but considering that the project is being funded by the Office of Naval Research U.S. Navy and Air Force, surely could have a military dimension to equip the troops.

In fact, in order to capture all possible information on the movements of the carrier system, the MIT team has added accelerometers and gyroscopes to detect any type of movement and correct laser measurements (if the person wearing the system is tilted) . To detect the wearer floor has changed (increased or decreased from one plant to another) included a barometer to detect any changes in air pressure, and tests, it seems that the method works quite well.

And what role this system plays Kinect? In addition to the cameras used to capture images that are sent to the control center, the Microsoft System is used to detect the contours of objects and combine this information with the rangefinder data to send hundreds processing system and generate Real-time recreation and environment mapping.

Well worth checking out the performance of the prototype and how to combine data from different sensors to map the interior of the building by moving the individual who is conducting the tests, for example, to go through watch a given area map is updated when, for example, the path is performed without much detail. A system of this kind has a good chance, especially in emergency equipment, but, for now, in addition to perfect their functions, MIT will focus on miniaturization for the whole system does not have a size larger than a coffee cup (currently the size of a tablet about 10 inches).

Images: MIT