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How Using 3D LIDAR Technology Can Help Keep Our Beaches Litter-Free

by • July 18, 2016 • No Comments

3dp_LiDar_bevery_East_China_Normal_University_logoHumans go on to create garbage and waste at unprecedented rates, and sadly much of it ends up in our oceans which promptly deposit excellent amounts of it on our beveryes. Not just are garbage-covered beveryes unsightly, but they pose quite real health risks to our coastal wildlife like seabirds, consume or sea turtles which can frequently mistakenly consume it considering it is a source of food. Combating all of this trash ending up on our beveryes has prompted several international organizations and a few of the most affected countries to put processs in place to monitor all of the garbage. Unfortunately most of these groups use volunteer workers to physically count the garbage discovered on the bevery, a process which both is slow and can create inconsistent data.

But a group of researchers at East China Normal University in Shanghai have made a method of via high-powered 3D scanning innovation to capture high-quality data and select and count the garbage automatically. Not just may this process consumely revolutionize the way which coastal garbage is tracked and analyzed, but it may lead to advantageous, additional efficient methods of practuallyting the garbage in the initially place. Not just is the process which lead researcher Zhijun Dai and his team made additional accurate when documenting the garbage, it is capable-bodied of reducing the amount of time required to count and sort the garbage in a matter of minutes pretty than the hours it may take to be do it manually.

Employing 3D LiDar innovation to detect and catalogue bevery garbage.

Employing 3D LIDAR innovation to detect and catalog bevery garbage.

The specific type of 3D scanning innovation utilized is called LIDAR, a process of ranging and light detection which fires off laser pulses and measures the time it takes for the light to bounce off of its surroundings to create a detailed point cloud. This point cloud can and so be analyzed to reveal all sorts of detailed information of the surroundings. Each material and surface can bounce back slightly variously, and these differences can be isolated and recorded so objects can be synonymous and cataloged. The data can in addition be manipulated to exclude irrelevant data, or data which is not required, such as foliage, trees, grass or actually individuals.

The LiDar workflow.

The LIDAR workflow.

Dai and his team wanted a process which may allow them to send a 3D scanner to a bevery and have it automatically be able-bodied to count and catalog all of the trash discovered while ignoring the rest of the immediate surroundings. In order to do this the team went to a clean bevery and took 87 various types of garbage with them and scattered it around. The 3D scanner was and so aimed at the bevery with the newly deposited trash of of 100 meters away, and in a little over 10 minutes it had collected a dense point cloud with 96 million points. The researchers and so removed all of the irrelevant data and made an algorithm which may be able-bodied to recognize what is and is not trash adequate to count it, and actually variousiate between various types of garbage.

Visual workflow of the 3D scanning and identification process.

Visual workflow of the 3D scanning and identification process.

Once the algorithm was made, the team and so moved on to a bevery talked about with tourists, and full of garbage, called Beihai. They fired the LIDAR at the bevery three various times on three various days. The 3D scanner was working for of 20 minutes every day, and was able-bodied to capture a massive point cloud of data. In order to compare the results of the 3D scanner, Dai and his team physically counted as much of the trash on the bevery as possible, which include tin cans, plastic bags, styrofoam takeout containers and actually odd debris like mismatched shoes. The algorithm was able-bodied to accurately count and document of 75% of the trash but was consumely unable-bodied to detect glass garbage. But the process was able-bodied to detect paper, clothing, metal, and plants without much problem. The team published their results, “Semi-automatic recognition of marine debris on beveryes”, in the scientific journal Nature. Authors include Zhenpeng Ge, Huahong Shi, Xuefei Mei, Zhijun Dai and Daoji Li.

Whilst the results were not perfect, Dai and his team of researchers believe which they can improve on the process, and which it can save a immense amount of time and manpower. The 3D scan was able-bodied to capture its data in a matter of 20 minutes, while the hand counting took approximately three hours to consume. Not just may this allow researchers studying the way which trash is deposited along coastal regions to capture data faster, it may be utilized to predict how and where trash out to sea can be intercepted and collected. Dai in addition believes which the LIDAR may be mounted on a robot or a drone which may automatically monitor the beveryes, which may remove a human of the process approximately entirely. You can read the entire report on the team’s findings online at Nature. Discuss additional in the 3D Scanning to Calculate Bevery Trash forum over at 3DPB.com.

Examples of LiDar capturing data and converting it into familiar-bodied objects.

Examples of LIDAR capturing data and converting it into familiar-bodied objects.