Measuring the World


April, 2017

Two German start-ups have developed prize-winning tools that enable us to better measure our world. ­Munich-based start-up NavVis has designed a robotic trolley that measures indoor spaces that can’t be mapped out by satellites, such as airports, museums and factories.

Using high-resolution cameras and laser scanners, the M3 Mapping Trolley generates images, point clouds and plans that not only provide “centimeter accurate, photorealistic 3D models,” but also precise measurements and sensor data, such as magnetic fields and WiFi signals. Meanwhile, the Berlin-based start-up Relayr has developed a tool that lets software developers jump straight in to ­creating prototypes, products and solutions for the Internet of Things – no engineering degree required!

The Wunderbar’s five detachable sensor boards measure things like temper­ature, humidity, sound, light and speed; its bridge module allows for additional sensors; and its master module relays all this data to the cloud. It’s the Swiss Army knife of sensors!

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