Exyn delivers 3D models in living color
World's first real-time colorized point cloud on handheld lidar Metal Tech News - January 14, 2022
Last updated 1/25/2022 at 3:07pm
Imagine a future where a geologist could slip on a virtual reality headset and descend into a full-color, highly accurate 3D model of a mine abandoned decades earlier and much too unstable to allow for human entry. With Exyn Technologies Inc.'s unveiling of the world's first real-time colorized point cloud visualization on a handheld lidar scanner, the ExynPak, such chromatic visions may be closer than you think.
"If you watch any good sci-fi movie or show, colorized 3D models are everywhere. This technology is a building block towards that future," said Exyn Chief Technology Officer Jason Derenick.
And this block is being built upon a powerful suite of mapping technologies developed by Exyn.
The current pinnacle of this technology is ExynAero, an aerial drone able to autonomously navigate underground mines and other environs beyond the reach of GPS. Equipped with powerful ExynAI software, which can mesh multiple data streams from a payload of sensors and equipment, ExynAero has the ability to map areas that are otherwise difficult, hazardous, and time-consuming to investigate with conventional techniques.
ExynPak is a handheld or ground vehicle-mounted version of the mapping hardware mounted on ExynAero.
This combination of GPS-free navigation, software, and mapping technology is so powerful that Sandvik, a Swedish company already on the cutting-edge of mining automation and digital mining solutions, forged a partnership with Exyn to develop autonomous equipment that would not require GPS to navigate through the labyrinth of an underground mine.
Learn more about the technologies being developed under the Sandvik-Exyn partnership at Charting new mining robotics territory in the September 29, 2021 edition of Metal Tech News.
With nearly instant colorization of the precise 3D models created by lidar, ExynPak is now taking Exyn's technology to a whole new level.
While there are post-production technologies available that can merge lidar scans with photos or RGB (red, green, blue) color model data, ExynPak marks the first time that colorized point clouds are produced in real-time and streamed to the operator.
Utilizing the powerful ExynAI software, ExynPak drapes RGB information captured by two hemispherical fixed cameras onto point clouds created by a Velodyne LIDAR Puck LITE, providing operators a complete colorized 360-degree view of their environment.
Boasting a three-hour battery life, the ExynPak is able to complete dozens of colorized lidar scans in a single shift. This efficiency is further enhanced by real-time feeds that allow crews to maximize coverage.
Equipped with a colorized ExynPak, a one- or two-man surveying team will be able to create a digital twin of entire structures, tunnels, and GPS-denied environments in a matter of hours, rather than days or even weeks.
"Even in its beta phase, we're thrilled with what the team has created," said Derenick.
And what makes this technology even more relevant for mining and other industrial sectors that could benefit from precise and colored 3D representations of work environments is the ease of use.
"The ExynPak is a powerful new tool with broad applications in many 'physical' industries such as construction, infrastructure development and inspection, mining and much more. You can set it down, initialize, and begin capturing a realistic 3D model of your environment in minutes and with minimal training," said Exyn Technologies CEO Nader Elm.
This could be made even more efficient by mounting a colorized ExynPak on a Boston Dynamic Spot robot dog programmed to take colorized 3D scans at preprogrammed intervals.
Read more about the emerging uses of Spot in the mining sector at Spot is the golden retriever of mine data in the April 28, 2021 edition of Metal Tech News.
In the future, the precise and colored 3D models produced by ExynPak could also help in the development of an Earth "supermap."
"Looking ahead to the United States' upcoming investment in infrastructure, as well as the groundswell of interest in building a supermap, or a digital twin of the world, the ExynPak can be a critical component in the capture snapshots of the supermap and track changes and progress," Elm added.