Researchers create wearable sensor that creates maps on the fly


wearable sensor map mit
The biggest problem with maps? You gotta hire one of those liberal, elite “cartographers” to do the actual mapping for you(well either that or a dungeon master.) If only technology would advance to a point where accurate, 3D maps could be made automatically. How sweet, and utterly explored, the world would be then. Double points if these maps were made by strapped a sensor to our bodies. We humans like to feel needed, even in the face of the coming robot apocalypse.

Enter the mad scientists over at MIT and their new project. Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have created a prototype of a wearable sensor that can create maps of a person’s environment on the fly as they move through it. The technology is based on some previous work the same researchers did for the U.S. military, only this time they have the every day consumer in mind. Think of it sort of like that gargantuan Google Street Trekker device, only smaller and capable of proper 3D imaging.

To make this system wearable, the researchers added a series of accelerometers and gyroscopes and(of course) a camera. The team also experimented with the use of a barometer, as air-pressure changes help to indicate change in floor level. That’s a lot of tech squeezed into a wearable sensor. What’s next? The ability to play a Scrabble-type game with friends just by using my cellular telephone?!

Watch a video of how the sensor works below and get ready to start mapping stuff. Explorers, one and all.