Laser To Take Stock of Heritage Sites

Camera has 'surgical' accuracy that supplies 3-D images, allowing for the study or creation of replicas, system's creator says

by Ricardo Sanchez Jr.
March 7, 2004
Imagine a device with spiderlike tripod legs, connected to a large cube that shoots a green laser beam. The beam scans the Orinda Theatre, then boomerangs back to a wired laptop computer.

No, it's not Star Wars. The laser won't blow things up or slice them in half. Instead, the beam from a Cyrax camera will take a picture of the building, recording all aspects of its dimensions, down to every nook and cranny.

It is a job a surveyor would take days to complete, still being unable to capture what the Cyrax camera can in seconds. The technology scans a building, or property, anything really, and produces an identical three-dimensional image down to the quarter-inch at every angle. If anything were to happen to the theater, it could be rebuilt exactly the way it stood before. Even imperfections such as cracks could be duplicated.