The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is based on the development of a polarization-based 3D scanner that is capable of scanning all types of surfaces. Most existing commercial products are designed to scan matte surfaces, leaving specular/shiny surfaces difficult to scan. The proposed polarization-based 3D scanning technology is able to solve this shortcoming of 3D scanning by allowing the scanning of arbitrary surfaces. This technology may improve conventional 3D scanning products as it results in a low-cost and easy-to-use solution. In addition, this technology is expected to significantly broaden the application field of 3D scanning and benefit the business sectors that have high demand in 3D virtualization, including manufacturing, healthcare, architecture, entertainment, and digital media.
This I-Corps project is based on the development of polarization-based 3D scanning technology. This technology uses a novel smartly coded illumination, namely the polarization field, for 3D scanning. Core research and development includes: 1) identifying the material composition of scanning surfaces; 2) automatically adjusting scanning hardware settings, based on the detected surface material; and 3) achieving high-quality 3D reconstruction regardless of the shape and material of the subject. The proposed prototype may be constructed with inexpensive and easily accessible components, such as liquid crystal displays. The proposed technology is low-cost and user-friendly as it eliminates the need for manually switching the scanning mode to adapt to different types of surfaces. The resulted polarization-based 3D scanner is able to produce high quality 3D models of arbitrary surfaces, from purely diffuse to highly specular, with robust performance.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.