3D Laser-scanning just got a whole lot cheaper. California-based startup Matterport plans to release their own scanner soon, having raised $4 million in investment to manufacture and sell an inexpensive and easy-to-use scanner (priced at around the cost of a nice SLR camera). Based off the same sensor technology that the Kinect uses, Matterport is able to do rough scans of homes and apartments. Not perfect for high-resolution measurement of cams and pistons, but great for Architects and Designers that's for sure. Imagine imaging a room for a client and filling it with furniture from GrabCAD's library.
Whoever said that wheels have to be circular? Or that they don't deal with stairs very well? Perhaps the word 'wheel' is a bit loose when describing this invention. Called Galileo Wheels after the famous Scientist/Engineer, the design is straightforward. A flexible and retractable treads is wrapped around the wheel, with a set of smaller wheels within the hub. Upon approaching stairs or soft terrain, the smaller wheels extend and push the treads outwards, forming caterpillar tracks.
Wheels efficiently turn rotation into forward motion, are manoeuvrable, easy to make and maintain. Yet Catepillar tracks can go up and over more varied terrain than wheels. Galileo wheels seem to effortlessly combine the advantages of each into one package. Stefan Varga got into the act and uploaded this great concept, inspired by the work manufacturer Galileo Mobility is doing.