The world-first Zebedee scanner is being touted as a major time saver for detectives on crime scenes.
A laser pointer on a spring named after a `70s animation character is Queensland’s latest crime fighting tool.
The CSIRO’s 3D mapping device will help police map crime scenes in about 20 minutes, replacing the need for laborious photographing and measuring.
The world-first Zebedee scanner is named after a 1970s BBC animation character in The Magic Roundabout, who bounced around on a spring.
“Because this uses a spring, one of the researchers named it Zebedee and the name sort of stuck,” the CSIRO’s program leader for autonomous systems Jonathan Roberts told reporters.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the $37,000 device, originally developed for mine mapping, would have been beneficial in the Daniel Morcombe schoolboy murder investigation.
“It’s the accuracy of the information of this particular device provides us with… that really does make this so beneficial to our people in the investigation,” he said.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the device, developed by the CSIRO in Brisbane, would save detective investigators “many thousands of hours”, adding it could also be used in search and rescue and traffic operations.
“I know the rest of the states and territories around Australia are very jealous,” he said.
Dr Roberts said CSIRO realised Zebedee’s benefits for policing after seeing it successfully used in mine mapping, adding researchers were working on a flying model that would be mounted to a remote-controlled drone.