I got a mailing today, probably several others of you did as well - announcing the Trimble VX Spatial Station. I had to chuckle, looking at the Matrix theme they put together for the ad campaign, considering the target as the typical pragmatic, grizzled, muddy-boots, over-50 demographic of surveyors... "wake up, Neo..."
I shouldn't tease Trimble - it is probably a lot more reflective of their own young and forward-looking demographic within Trimble, given their leadership and innovation in many other areas recently. Looks like a great product, and the next natural sequence of evolution as the Robotic/Reflectorless Total Station fuses with the 3D Scanner. It's the sort of thing that gets people like me thinking, what is the next phase of evolution.
For example, I was interested to see such things as fellow SDVOSB Penobscot Bay mounting scanners on robots, as well as another firm that we've worked with in the past, Spatial Integrated Systems / SIS, who has stripped-down scanners for confined spaces, such as on submarines.
So what's next in the far, or maybe not-so-far future? Perhaps a fusion of GPS and other technologies as well - a device you can carry in your pocket, which, when whipped out, establishes its geodetic position to centimeter level, scans the environment, and instantly constructs a georeferenced, 3-D spatial and temporal virtual environment, and stitches it in with other models already captured for a seamless database. Perhaps hyperspectral sensors, spectroscopy to determine the materials of the environment and more...
Imagine the design tools - you capture the environment, then don a headset which lets you mold and sculpt the environment in 3-D almost like it was wet clay. As you modify things, a number of models run simultaneously - finite elements analysis examining the structural details, other routines running to examine other impacts - stormwater and erosion, traffic, you name it.
Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?
Categories: 3D , analysis , design , engineering , geo , geodetic , Geospatial , GIS , instruments , LIDAR , map , mapping , maps , modeling , navigation , scanners , spatial , surveying , total stations , Trimble