A REVOlution in Handheld Mobile Mapping

GeoSLAM is a UK-based company with a global reputation for developing game-changing survey solutions. From its Nottingham headquarters, GeoSLAM has pioneered the development and manufacture of handheld indoor 3D mobile mapping systems such as the award winning ZEB1 and newly released ZEB-REVO. Utilising revolutionary Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) technology, GeoSLAM’s solutions offer a cost effective alternative for rapid mapping of enclosed environments without the need for GPS. GeoSLAM strives to create solutions which are fast, accurate, proven and efficient, for a diverse range of applications including measured building surveys and real estate valuations, mine and cave mapping, forestry scanning and crime scene reconstruction.

Overview

GeoSLAM was founded in 2012 as a joint venture between CSIRO (Australia’s National Science Agency and the inventors of Wi-Fi) and 3D Laser Mapping (a leading global provider of 3D LIDAR solutions). The company has grown rapidly in both range and scope, currently incorporating a global network of distributors serving 28 countries across 6 continents. With a firm commitment to continuous innovation and making disruptive technology accessible to all, GeoSLAM has recently launched its latest generation of handheld indoor mapper (the ZEB-REVO) plus a desktop version of it’s hugely successful cloud based automatic SLAM registration software.

ZEB-REVO HANDHELDDisrupting the Market

A fusion of cutting edge SLAM technology, a small and dedicated workforce and a strong brand image sets the company apart from the crowd. This filters through to the products themselves – whether it be the nodding ZEB1 or the rotating ZEB-REVO, GeoSLAM’s products are simple, user-friendly, and effective. The product range was developed by a desire to fill a gap in the market – namely, for a rapid, highly-mobile, multi-level laser scanner, that could be used by anyone.

The beauty is in the simplicity; both scanner units have been designed with simple ‘on/off’ functionality, after which they are simply picked up to begin a scan. With the battery and data logger safely stowed in the backpack, the user is free to capture data across a range of environments and a multitude of levels. With an indoor range of 30m and a requirement to conduct just 1 closed loop, data is captured in a fraction of the time of traditional survey methods.

Data Processing 

The simplicity doesn’t stop there. The company has developed two solutions for data registration to suit the varied needs of their clients.

Cloud processing uses a simple Uploader and a ‘drag and drop’ functionality to enable users to load their data to GeoSLAM’s cloud. Once uploaded and automatically registered, clients purchase their data using ‘GeoSLAM credit cubes’, a simple payment method which ensures they only pay for the area they move through. Further options allow users to ‘flag’ data sets with errors, or to share data with colleagues.  This ground-breaking approach allows users to reduce initial capital expenditures and spread the cost on a project by project basis.

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GeoSLAM Desktop processing software is the alternative to the cloud. For a one-off upfront fee, users process their data locally, removing the need for an internet connection whilst providing an onsite visual of the data collected. This option allows data to be processed ‘in the field’, suiting it perfectly to caving, mining and forestry applications.

Global Reach

The versatility of the ZEB1 scanner has resulted in a wide variety of end users – currently numbering several hundred across the globe and ranging from property management companies, mining corporations, surveyors and higher-education establishments. As a customer-focused business, GeoSLAM strives to develop and maintain these relationships – offering truly global support through a dedicated network of distribution. The company continues to strengthen its global distribution base with recent appointments in North America, Middle East, Asia, and Europe.

The Future 

As any technology company knows, standing still is simply not an option. In such a rapidly growing, rapidly changing industry, companies need to demonstrate flexibility and to respond to new technological developments, changing client demands and new areas of application. 2016 is set to be a busy year for GeoSLAM.  Following the successful launch of the ZEB-REVO, GeoSLAM will be hosting a ‘distributors forum’ in May – an opportunity for our global network of resellers to come together in London and compare experiences of selling in widely divergent markets.

Speaking of markets, the company expects to see continued significant growth and adoption of the technology in the measured building and BIM sectors, an industry which is set to grow exponentially over the next few decades.

Further down the line, the company continues to work closely with CSIRO in developing the next stage of indoor mapping, utilising real-time data capture and processing. With the increasing threat of terrorism and shifting geopolitics, security and contingency planning applications are increasingly likely to come to the fore.

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The Author is Stuart Cadge, Pre-Sales Engineer at GeoSLAM         stuart.cadge@geoslam.com

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