We are blasting at the future using laser & light beams at Autodesk to capture our physical world in 3D for many innovative uses. Here is the great article by ReadWrite features Dr. Aaron Morris of Autodesk and the future possibilities of lidar.
Seven ways 3D Lidar is transforming our physical world: autode.sk/16aKQ14
"Even if you’ve never heard of lidar, you’ve heard about the things it can do. The technology has been harnessed for everything from the Makerbot 3D printer to Google’s potential self-driving car. Existing in some form since the ‘60s, lidar a light-based radar that senses and analyzes reflected light in order to make an exact 3D copy of any shape or environment.
Dr. Aaron Morris, a roboticist and entrepreneur on the cutting edge of 3D lidar research, said that in laypersons’ terms, think of lidar as a kind of virtual tape measurer, “except instead of rolling out a physical tape measure, it’s a beam of light, and a sensor measures how long it takes for it to bounce back to its source.” Multiply that bouncing laser beam by the thousands, make the source a rotating mirror, put the whole thing on a moving rover and you’ve got millions of data points mapping out a 360 degree view of a 3D space."