At the International Police Workshop, Mantis is unveiling the results of a case study conducted with the Dutch Police over the course of the last 12 months. According to Mantis, “Holland’s KLPD, in collaboration with Netherlands Forensic Institute and the Rotterdam Police Department, conducted a review and evaluation of 3D scanners for crime scene investigation.
“The project included two phases: Product comparison and product evaluation. F5 was selected as the preferred product and for the last seven months was rigorously used in the field by forensic experts.”
The KLPD will be presenting in Dusseldorf their perspectives on using the F5 for crime scene investigation. Mantis will then follow up with its 18-month road-map, according to the press release.
Direct Dimensions’ Michael Rafael uses the F5 to scan a girder from the 9/11 site.
In the company’s specifications for the F5, the product is touted as needing no scene preparations, such as survey targets, yet can get accuracy to .5 mm at a range of roughly one meter. It is described as being similar in operation to a normal 2D video camera, yet operates in total darkness and emits no visible light. Data is downloaded from the unit and processed with Mantis Vision Production software, which outputs 3D videos where each frame contains some 50,000 measurable points. The point clouds are then stitched together to form a denser point cloud of the entire scanned scene.
If everything works as promised (Direct Dimensions’ Michael Rafael is very high on the product, but, then, he’s reselling it…), it’s pretty easy to see the applications for crime scene investigation and other small indoor and outdoor scanning projects. It’s not going to replace a terrestrial scanner for most industrial applications, but it seems like it could be a great bridge between hand-held laser scanners that are typically used for reverse engineering applications and tripod scanners that might be overkill for some situations, and might be ineffective in others where there’s a lot of clutter that you can’t see behind. I’d think walking around with the 3D camera would be a lot more effective than setting up 20 scan stations.
Here’s a brief video showing you how the system works:
Sam is a former editor of Spar3d.com and SPARView, as well as various B2B publications in the workboat, security, and privacy industries. Currently, he serves as editor of West Gray Creative, a content services company in Portland, Maine. In his spare time, he fronts the bluegrass band The World Famous Grassholes, runs the music blog www.PortlandsBestAlbums.com, and serves as Vice Chair of the Gray-New Gloucester School Board.