The phenomenon of echolocation occurs in nature quite often. The most famous is the ability of bats to navigate in space, thanks to the echo from their squeak. Or, for example, blind people, after some time, gain the ability to walk, relying on hearing. But to make a 3D map of a room using sound is something new.
Recently, scientists from the Federal Polytechnic School Lausanne (Switzerland) published a study showing how the latest algorithm uses sound to determine the size of the surrounding space. The system requires only four standard microphones, placed in an arbitrary place, and any sound that can trigger the generation of the model, for example, the click of your fingers. This is somewhat similar to the spatial triangulation method used by 3D scanners, but it uses light, and here it uses sound.
FPS postgraduate student, Ivan Dokmanich explains:
“Each microphone picks up a direct signal from a source as well as echoes bouncing off the walls. The algorithm compares the signals from each microphone. The infinitesimal delays that appear in the signals are used to calculate not only the distance between the microphones, but also the distance from each microphone to the walls and to the signal source. "
Testing of the new system took place in the six-sided hall of the Lausanne Cathedral. This 900 year old temple is the heart of the city. The article, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is just the beginning of a lengthy study that the group intends to continue over the years.