Employing algorithms originally designed for robots traversing different environments, a new device developed by engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory allows mapping of areas where GPS is not available. The EMAPS system fits in a backpack and can record environmental data as its user carries it around, producing "a floor-plan style map of the area traversed, as well as 360-degree photos and sensor readings of environmental data collected in the area using a variety of sensors," APL says.

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