Portable Device Developed for Creating Maps for Limited Spaces

Enhanced-Mapping-and-Positioning-SystemTo create annotated maps in limited spaces, engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., have developed a handy device.

The device has been dubbed as the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). It is an Enhanced Mapping and Positioning System (EMAPS) that has a potential of creating a floor-plan style map. With the aid of sensors, the device has the capability of obtaining 360-degree photos and studying environmental data.

With approximately six-inch, four-pound EMAPS "cube" in a backpack, the device can capture environmental information. Light, Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensors can cover a particular area with its beams and provide detailed information about the area blanketed, says APL.

After this step, some processing occurs within the device and displays the information.

According to APL, "System improves upon algorithms originally designed for robots which have trouble maneuvering in some environments and it has a built-in allowance for the dynamic motion generated by walking and other normal human movement".

In order to remove previous problems of algorithms, the APL team has programmed EMAPS. With the help of this device, it plans to map challenging environments. Earlier, the algorithms that were developed were not conducive for such surfaces.