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From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.
Architects, engineers and building supervisors will soon be able to quickly collect information that once took weeks to measure and process. Scientists have developed a device to gather information about building interiors, their design and exact measurements. The scientists are with the University of California, Berkeley. They connected the device to a backpack that can be easily carried.
The device requires only one pass through a building to create a three-dimensional, or 3D, model of the structure. In other words, the model shows an object’s height, width and depth. The device also can collect other valuable information related to the building’s energy usage. An older building may need a new, more efficient heating and cooling system. Experts say the first thing you need to know is the exact shape of all rooms in the building. You have to consider the size and position of heating and cooling equipment, windows and doors. Another consideration is the placement of electrical outlets.
Annie Marston is with Baumann Consulting, the business that developed the new device. She says that instead of using experts with laptop computers and other devices, it will soon be possible to send only one person with a high-tech backpack. Weather experts use a scientific instrument called a barometer to measure pressure in Earth’s atmosphere. But the device uses a barometer to estimate height. Instruments called magnetometers act as 3D compasses. They gather information about metallic structures. Annie Marston says the device may be useful to energy testers, engineers, builders and the construction industry.