NAVER LABS, the ambient intelligence arm of Korea’s leading internet company NAVER Corporation, and HERE Technologies, a global leader in mapping and location services, announced that they have signed a preliminary agreement to collaborate on autonomous indoor mapping technology.
The collaboration aims to combine NAVER LABS’ Scalable & Semantic Indoor Mapping (SSIM) technology, autonomous robots, and AI-based image recognition capabilities with the HERE Open Location Platform to create, maintain and publish 3D maps of indoor environments such as airports and train stations. Such maps are useful in various ways, from helping people find their way at complex transit interchanges to supporting last mile guidance and more efficient logistics.
The companies are planning initial testing work in Korea, with a view to deploying the technology globally to support the rapid creation of indoor maps.
At the heart of the collaboration will be two kinds of autonomous robot. M1, NAVER LABS’ 3D indoor mapping robot, will be tasked with capturing high-precision data for the maps. M1 is equipped with laser scanners and high-performance cameras, enabling it to build an accurate picture of its environment. The maps will then be kept updated using the information gathered by AROUND, NAVER LABS’ indoor service robot. Additionally, NAVER LABS’ AI-based image recognition technology will recognize venues and detect changes automatically for semantic mapping.
HERE will provide access to its existing indoor map data, which can be enhanced and updated by SSIM technology, as well as utilize the HERE Open Location Platform for making the maps available to customers.
Chang Song, CEO of NAVER LABS, said: “Together with HERE Technologies, NAVER LABS looks forward to bringing the capabilities of our scalable and semantic indoor mapping technology (SSIM) to the global market.”
Edzard Overbeek, CEO of HERE Technologies, said: “Our collaboration with NAVER LABS supports HERE Technologies’ strategy to provide world-class mapping and location services both indoors and outdoors. We’re excited to leverage advanced robotics technology in the development of indoor maps, and look forward to exploring further collaboration opportunities with NAVER in the future.”