CANBERRA, Australia, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A new scanner allows police to build 3-D crime scene maps that could help illustrate those scenes to juries, Australian researchers say.
Developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, the handheld Zebedee scanner uses a powerful laser to sweep an environment and create a 3-D computer map accurate to fractions of an inch, Britain's the Guardian reported Friday.
Already in use by police in Queensland, the scanner was saving police "many thousands of hours in investigation," Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said.
They scanner would be particularly effective at crime scenes involving fatal traffic accidents, rough terrain or bad weather, where evidence might quickly degraded, he said.
While it wouldn't replace traditional police methods of investigation, the scanner might lead to "faster capture of accurate information in our investigation process," Stewart said.
"That gives our people time to do other things," he said.
The next step is to make the Zebedee scanner airborne, CSIRO researchers said, so it could access and explore remote crime scenes.