Robovision, now in 3-D

Soldiers and first responders may soon have a better way to evaluate the interior of dangerous structures, thanks to a joint project between Missouri S&T and the University of Missouri-Columbia.


As part of the project, which began in 2008, students at Missouri S&T built a remote-controlled robot equipped with an infrared camera and LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology. Like radar, LIDAR sends out signals, in this case millions of laser points, to bounce off objects and provide feedback. The LIDAR-equipped robot then wirelessly relays detailed images to a laptop computer.

A Rolla barbershop, as seen through the LIDAR.

 

“We can get a 3-D map of rooms by sending the robot inside or having it look through a window,” says Norbert Maerz, associate professor of geological engineering at Missouri S&T. “Even when you can’t see through windows, you can still scan through them with LIDAR. Using this information, soldiers or first responders could evaluate safety issues and determine strategies.”
Maerz and his students have used their prototype to map the inside of houses, businesses, Missouri S&T buildings, chambers in S&T’s Experimental Mine and cave passages in the Mark Twain National Forest. “In theory, you could deploy this technology inside caves where terrorists might be hiding,” Maerz says.

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

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Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

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Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

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Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

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Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

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