UPEI in 3D

UPEI 3D Scanner Lasers
UPEI 3D Scanner
UPEI 3D Scanner Console

I was up at the Robertson Library at UPEI for a secret high-level meeting this morning, and got a demo of their latest item of cool gear, a 3D scanner.

You stick any object (up to the size of a shoebox) on the turntable and a combination of a camera and a team of lasers scan the object 8 times as the turntable rotates. Some magic software on the workstation driving the whole thing stitches it all together, and when you’re done you have a 3D model that you can, well, ogle at (or put in Second Life, or add to a collection of digital artifacts, or send to Pixar for inclusion on Toy Story 3). Obviously there are Serious Research Purposes for the technology, but it’s also very, very cool.

Every time I’ve visited the library this year I find partitions being installed, boxes of supercomputers piled high, and smart people doing interesting stuff. It’s a far cry from ye olde musty library, but is also pleasantly libraryesque in approach and demeanor.

If you’ve got an inkling of an idea that involves the overlap of any of scholarship, technology, information, archives, digitization, UPEI seems increasingly like the place to be on PEI. There was already plenty of evidence of this during the winter. Now there’s more.