What Is The NavVis VLX Mobile Mapping System & How Does It Work?

What Is The NavVis VLX Mobile Mapping System & How Does It Work?

The NavVis VLX being operated in the field.

State-of-the-art technology like the NavVis VLX, operated by highly skilled technicians, can provide data so accurate that it allows architects, engineers, and contractors across the AEC industries to create and utilize point clouds, 2D CAD drawings, 3D BIM models, and a true digital twin to streamline the collaboration process. This allows for consistent visualization and communication across departments from the planning and design phase through O&M.

What Does the NavVis do?

The NavVis VLX captures survey-grade point clouds with two multi-layer LiDAR sensors equipped with SLAM technology. Four cameras are positioned on top of the device, taking high resolution images in every direction for complete 360º capture – all without the operator appearing in the field of view.  A built-in touchscreen interface allows the user to monitor the data captured in real-time.

The NavVis VLX uses to multi-layer LiDAR sensors equipped with the SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) algorithm to create a digital map, four high-resolution cameras positioned atop the mechanism that capture 360º imaging, and a built-in touch screen for ease of operation and real-time data capture.

  • Foldable, wearable hands-free mapping device
  • High-quality reality capture with 6mm accuracy
  • Dual LiDAR sensors with SLAM technology
  • Survey-grade colorized/intensity point clouds
  • Four cameras capture 360° panoramic images and walk throughs without any blind spots or operators in the field of view
  • Built-in touchscreen captures live scanning progress
  • 10x faster in data acquisition than terrestrial scanners

SLAM: What is it?

SLAM, as discussed earlier, is an acronym for simultaneous localization and mapping. SLAM allows you to move through a space to create a digital map. The algorithm utilizes one of the scanner’s LiDAR sensors to accurately track as it moves through the space. LiDAR collects a 3D point cloud of the surrounding environment at the same time for simultaneous data collection.

SLAM scanners allow you to complete imaging in remote locations, and can still scan in the absence of GPS or GNSS signals, which makes it easy to quickly capture accurate 3D scans of dangerous construction sites or even underground caves.

Why the NavVis VLX Instead of Other Imaging Tools?

Along with millimeter accuracy, high resolution, and exceptionally low “noise” in its imaging, the NavVis VLX also provides a homogeneous point cloud structure with exceptionally realistic color. Workflow is scalable and the interface uses control points to register the point cloud data to capture full 360º panoramic views that are necessary for 3D renderings of digital twins and BIM virtual tours.

How is the Data Processed?

The typical output of the NavVis VLX is a registered colored/intensity point cloud and high-definition panoramic images in industry-standard data formats like E57, LAS, PLY, PTS, and XYZ.

Data can be processed with Autodesk, Microstation, PointCab, or ClearEdge 3D into standard building documentation such as CAD drawings and 3D BIM models.

A Project Manager capturing as-built data with the NavVis VLX.

What is the NavVis Indoor Viewer?

Using the NavVis IndoorViewer, BIM modelers, Project Managers and end users can intuitively interact with their scanned data through any standard web browser. It provides a comprehensive set of tools and options to investigate the quality of a set of scans in detail, like section views that are rendered in real-time.

The NavVis IndoorViewer software can support all kinds of E57 scan data, so user scan import multiple point cloud datasets from more than one scanning device and manage them in one place.

Using the NavVis VLX in a Doctor’s Office

GPRS/TruePoint used the NavVis VLX to capture a 3,500 square foot doctor’s office interior. A highly detailed as-built model and HD color imagery was captured in 30 minutes.  

Since NavVis VLX offers the ability to scan on the move, it offered our client this benefit: speed. “We had to scan the building off hours so we wouldn’t interfere with normal business operations,” says Andy Foshee, Southeast Regional Manager. “But since the NavVis VLX collects data faster than other scanners, this wasn’t a problem.” 

GPRS/TruePoint delivered a colorized point cloud and 40 HD images. The digital assets were uploaded to the NavVis IndoorViewer for easy access from any standard web browser on a computer, tablet, or phone.

Mobile mapping looks easy to do, but GPRS Project Managers are trained to maintain the correct walking speed and create loop closures (which occur when you visit the same place twice in one data set).

TheNavVis VLX mobile mapping system captures the as-built environment and photorealistic digital twins to Visualize The Built World™. Its ease of use and high resolution, low-noise imaging make it a vital tool in a mapping and modeling arsenal.

What can GPRS help you visualize?