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Laser Scanning For The Masses by Handheld Devices

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One of the pioneers of software development for laser-scan data processing, Mark Klusza, won an ENR Newsmaker award for that work in 2003 (ENR 1/12/04 p. 26). He knows enough about the science behind scanning to see the future—through the point clouds—and then start inventing.

Klusza is being honored with another Newsmaker award, this time for dreaming up and leading development of software to capture, process and compress point

clouds using a handheld device that he and his team—which includes Rafael Spring, a software engineer formerly part of the group that developed Google Glass—created by combining and refining off-the-shelf Nexus tablets and Microsoft Kinect cameras.

The $6,000 DP1-7 handheld 3D laser scanners went into production in June. Klusza says orders are pouring in from insiders and early adopters, who have started to experiment with them. He says he expects to deliver about 500 in 2014.

"The software is the magic, and it does work," says Kirk Knorr, piping department manager, Burns & McDonnell, Houston. "I had to prove to myself and my company that it works and that we can use it and get the same results as with traditional survey. We validated the accuracy using a one-second total station. I expect we will purchase many more over the next year."

"This is like the invention of CAD," adds Joseph Betit, corporate manager of survey and innovation at Bechtel Global Corp. "This is a real driver. It changes the whole ball game. Mark and Rafael have created one of the coolest things ever made for construction."

In addition to being vice president of metrology at UTEC Survey Inc., an on-shore/off-shore construction support company based in Houston, Klusza now also is chief innovation officer at DotProduct LLC, the company he and Spring co-founded to develop and market the software and, incidentally, the scanning devices, he says, because "we needed something to run the software on."


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