Object and Shape Detection

3D data acquisition and automated data interpretation

In the »Object and Shape Detection« business unit, systems are developed for 3D detection of the geometry and location of objects. As a rule, the detection takes place from moving platforms and extends over a wide distance range – from tenths of a millimeter to the 100-meter range. The focus is on the research and development of very fast and robust measuring systems based on time-of-flight measurement technology or camera systems.

The spectrum of our customized measuring systems ranges from highly complex multispectral laser scanners to smartphones as measuring devices, which we equip with specially developed software for this purpose.

When evaluating data, we take advantage of the opportunities offered by current groundbreaking developments in machine learning. This enables us to extract maximum information from measurement data and to gain new information from existing measurement results. Our turnkey systems consist of high-precision measuring devices with downstream automated data evaluation.

Our offer in the imaging object and shape detection includes

  • Development of tailor-made measuring systems
  • Software development along the entire 3D data process chain
  • Technology consulting and evaluation
  • Feasibility studies and aptitude tests
  • Contract measurements
  • Simulation of optics, electronics, mechanics and thermal distribution


Systems in operation

Examples of our developments are hand-held and industrially used measuring instruments from companies such as Bosch or Tessari. Our laser scanners are used by leading 3D measurement technology providers such as FARO, by Deutsche Bahn (DB), Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) and ten other railway operators worldwide on three continents. The German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) uses our measuring systems as reference devices. These scanner systems are world leaders in terms of measurement speed and accuracy and are continuously being further developed using highly integrated and low-cost components from communication electronics.

News & Information


Press release / 26.7.2021

AI Champions Baden-Württemberg

A novel planning tool uses artificial intelligence methods to automatically interprete 3D environmental data to generate smart planning maps. The research team has now received an award for its development in the "AI Champion Baden-Württemberg" competition.


Project MuSe-3D

Multispectral camera system surveys moorlands from the air

What is the state of marshlands in the face of climate change? To investigate this question, we supported RSS GmbH with technology and know-how for 3D data acquisition. Mounted on a drone, our multispectral camera system recorded data on the condition of the moorlands around the Bavarian town of Benediktbeuern. The results can be viewed in an interactive 3D map.



Project MobDi – Mobile Disinfection

Object and materials detection for disinfection robots

As part of the MobDi project we are working on the optical detection of typically contaminated objects. To this end we develop measurement technology combined with automated data interpretation based on deep learning.


Article in Geoconnexion, October 2020 issue

»Mapping the underground maze«

A mass of infrastructure is hidden under our cities, much of it poorly mapped, if at all. Fraunhofer IPM is developing an AI-based system that recognises typical underground objects in image data. Alexander Reiterer reports on the progress so far.



Press Release / 8.7.2020

Digitization in the
building pit

In most cases, network infrastructure operators still use analog methods to keep records where cables have been laid and lines have been drawn in the ground. Fraunhofer IPM has recently launched the »NEXT.TrenchLog« project in cooperation with Bayernwerk Netz GmbH, developing a digital solution for the documentation of underground infrastructure: Using artificial intelligence, the system automatically generates georeferenced 3D data of the components.



Building and construction surveying with laser scanning


Topics: Automated object recognition in 3D data, data aquisition from the air, multispectral sensor concept for tunnel inspection.

Trade Fairs 2022


Berlin, September 20–23

Essen, October 18–20





November 23–24, 2022

MoLaS 2022

The MoLaS – Mobile Laser Scanning Technology Workshop, originally scheduled for November 2021, has been postponed again due to the Corona pandemic.


Partners and Networks

  • CNA Center for Transportation & Logistics Neuer Adler e.V. Cluster Bahntechnik Bayern
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photogrammetrie, Fernerkundung und Geoinformation e.V. (DGPF)
  • Deutsche Hydrographische Gesellschaft  e.V. (DHyG)