NavVis has announced the release of its latest indoor mobile mapping system, the M6. This fully integrated cart-based system includes four laser scanners with range of up to 100 meters, six cameras for capturing 360° imagery, and sensors for tracking Bluetooth beacons, WiFi signals, and magnetic field data.
The M6 was designed to operate in a wider range of scenarios and produce higher quality data than previous models. It’s also specified for high-speed capture at up to 30,000 square meters a day, making the M6 deployable in truly large-scale indoor mapping projects for BIM generation, factor planning, and construction monitoring.
When I caught up with Dr. Georg Schroth, co-founder of NavVis, he explained the secret sauce that makes all this possible: 6D SLAM technology.
A 6D SLAM-dunk
After the release of the popular M3, Schroth says, NavVis’ customers began asking for a system that could operate in a wider range of environments, like over rough terrain, ramps, and in open or narrow spaces. The customers also wanted higher quality data, so that the trolley scanner could take on more of the work they traditionally performed with static laser scanners.
NavVis answered by focusing its R&D efforts on 6D SLAM (a natural next step, since SLAM has been a major focus of the company’s work for a long time). Where classic SLAM approaches assume the presence of a flat floor—and captures poorer data in places where the floor is not flat—6D SLAM makes no assumptions about the floor. It determines the position and orientation of the system in all 6 degrees of freedom (X, Y, Z, and yaw, pitch, roll), and promises faster capture, as well as significantly better data as a result.