There are many reasons why capturing spatial information about the built and natural environment is necessary as part of the digitalisation of our worlds.
Buildings and physical spaces in our environment have been slow to join the digital revolution, many properties are understood and managed via the original architect drawings or building deeds. That's because being able to capture the data required to create digital models of these spaces took too long, and cost too much.
They required specialist surveying teams who would spend days, often weeks taking precise measurements of a space, and it would then take several more weeks to produce usable information. The capture methodology wasn't scalable, and didn't lend itself well to being able to quickly create a digital model of a space.
Places that were inaccessible to traditional surveying equipment – caves or underground mines for example, were nearly impossible to map digitally.
Our research in 3D LiDAR-based Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) led to the development of the Zebedee system and a suite of technologies in 2012.
GeoSLAM, our worldwide Zebedee technology commercialisation partner co-founded by CSIRO, have developed Continuous-Time Simultaneous Localisation Mapping (CT-SLAM) technology that uses continuous sensor trajectory to generate accurate and detailed 3D maps of a scanned environment.
The increased rate of scanning enables the frequent calculation of exact positioning or vehicle motion, a functionality suitable for applications primarily in the mining, surveying and construction industries.
GeoSLAM brought mobile 3D data capture to market in 2013 in a joint venture with CSIRO with the launch of the ZEB1, the first handheld SLAM scanner powered by a smart algorithm that continues to develop and become more intelligent each time it's used.
In 2018, GeoSLAM purchased CT-SLAM from CSIRO’s Data61 to develop a suite of highly advanced mobile mapping products, introducing the first commercial handheld SLAM product.
GeoSLAM are market leaders in 3D SLAM - technology which enables autonomous, 'go anywhere' mapping. Its software takes real-time data from LIDAR sensors and creates a continuous, highly accurate 3D map of the surrounding area.
After more than a decade of success, GeoSLAM has been acquired by global 4D digital reality solutions leader FARO Technologies Inc.
"We are thrilled to add GeoSLAM’s handheld 3D scanning technology to our portfolio of cutting-edge data capture solutions," says Michael Burger, FARO president and CEO.
A leading global source for measurement, imaging and realisation technology, FARO has enabled customers to quickly and easily measure and analyse their surroundings for over 40 years.
FARO continues to be a pioneer in bridging the digital and physical worlds through data-driven reliable accuracy, precision and immediacy, and the addition of GeoSLAM is expected to significantly expand and accelerate FARO's market growth opportunity in the mobile scanning space.
"Joining with FARO represents the next step in the growth of GeoSLAM and the establishment of mobile mapping as a driver for growth in the way businesses map and understand their spaces," added Andy Parr, GeoSLAM CEO. "Both companies share a vision of the importance of mobile scanning in the burgeoning digital reality capture market".
GeoSLAM reported £14.5 million in revenue with 18 per cent EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. The transaction closed on September 1, 2022.
"CSIRO congratulates FARO and GeoSLAM on completing the acquisition, which will see GeoSLAM’s technology, originally developed with CSIRO's Data61, taken to the next level creating impact for the world. We're eager to see what FARO does next," said CSIRO's Data61 Commercialisation Manager (Digital and Deep Tech) Mr Rajiv Cabraal.