Ian AUSTENMAY 27,2007, at the beginning of the renovation of the animal habitat at the mequan Palace Zoo in Vienna, a few years ago, it needed detailed drawings of the existing structure.
But it is very troublesome to get the size of these drawings.
For example, technicians are not keen to bring tape measures into the cave of the Lion.
Zoo administrators do not want to put animals in cages while technicians are working, putting unnecessary pressure on them.
The answer to the question that both humans and beasts care about is one hand.
Handheld laser measuring device called Leica Disto.
With it, the technician was able to get the cage size from the outside to about 1-
The daily activities of animals are not disturbed.
The first Disto product launched in 1993 barely marks the end of the tape measure and other traditional measuring tools.
First of all, for classic models, the price is about $500, and it is still difficult to compete in price.
But the market is growing, as are other companies, including Trimble Navigation in Sunnyvale, California.
, Follow the leading position of Leica, introduce hands
Have your own laser measuring instruments.
To a large extent, these devices are used by people in the construction industry, especially by heating and ventilation system installers who need to measure pipe works that are basically inaccessible.
But these gadgets are used in unexpected places.
For example, many cave explorers now send the device's laser beam to the dark and use their measurements to create an instant map of the area they are exploring.
Kurt Giger, vice president of geographic systems engineering at Leica, said Disto was driven by business needs, not a grand vision.
In the 1980s, the company redesigned its main products, measuring instruments, including laser and other electronic means of measurement. By 1990, Mr.
The company has developed a laser that can measure points about 12 miles away, Gege said.
At about the same time, laser advertising
However, the measurement-based results are perfect, and the surveyor has abandoned it and switched to instruments that rely on GPS signals.
"We have these lasers. and-
We need facilities to find new products for it. Giger said. A hand-
Initially, it was not just a well-trained surveyor who could use a laser measuring device, which was not an obvious solution.
In the first few years, no one believed there was a market for such tools, he said. Giger said.
Leica decided that this device will only work if the price is reasonable ---
At least according to the standards of electronic measuring equipment.
Its main competitors will prove to be cheaper devices to measure distances by reflecting sound waves from walls and other objects.
Sonar distance lookup only allows approximate measurements, which is enough for a realtor to calculate the size of the room, but it is not accurate enough for a carpenter.
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Georg and his researchers are ready to go into a cheap solid-state laser.
The company's early work with measuring instruments can be more or less transferred to its hands. held device.
It turns out that it's really difficult to design a small lightweight shell that can withstand rough handling.
In particular, in order to provide an accurate reading, it is necessary to keep the lens in hand
Stay aligned within two to three micrometers.
"It's not easy to turn this level of stability into reality --
"Handheld Devices ". Giger said.
At that time, the Swiss-based Leica geographic system company was called Wild Letz, including the German Leica camera company. (
Since then, they have become independent companies. )
Mr. camera engineer.
Giger said he has provided some advice to keep the optical system intact.
Leica claims that all of its Disto units can fall from a height of 3 feet to a hard surface without being hurt.
In fact, he said that over the past 10 years, the company has found that customers are more likely to damage the LCD display of the device than their optical systems.
Not all laser measuring devices are working in obscurity.
In last year's remake of work in Italy, a group of fictional thieves used a Disto unit to place explosives during a gold robbery.
But in Hollywood, laser measuring devices are more common on the other side of the camera.
Some crews use them instead of a standard tape measure to determine the distance from the lens to the person or object being taken.
These devices allow the camera assistant to check the focus as the camera or actor moves.
Bill Deere, a photographer and veteran filmmaker at the American Film Academy, used a laser meter to measure the location of the film before filming.
However, he still prefers the tape measure when setting the focus, because the tape measure is more tangible.
The advertisement "you don't know if this measure is correct ".
"But I knew right away when the tape measure would change.
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A version of the article was printed on page 8 of the National edition Gilles on May 27, 2004, with the title: How it works;
The laser is like ruler in, measuring dimensions on caves and cracks.