Equipped with LIDAR, these aircrafts can not only give a perfect view of an area, but also allow us to create a floor plan of a place with centimeter accuracy. Learn more about this revolutionary innovation with the help of which several industries can be developed including construction industry and tourism. 


How exactly does LIDAR technology work?

The LIDAR operates with a laser that emits infrared light and measures how long it takes for the light it emits to return, and then calculates how far away the objects in front of it are. Devices using 3D sensing are called  “Time of Flight” sensors, or ToF for short. In essence, it scatters the laser signal 360 degrees, which is reflected from the objects around it, allowing it to capture a 3D image (point clouds) with centimeter accuracy. If we install this technology on a drone, we will be able to make 3D images of areas and properties under construction. Conventional cameras do not see behind the shaded / covered surfaces, so another advantage of lidar technology is that the laser “scanners” can also record the hidden details, so we can get a more accurate picture of the desired area or object. During image processing, we can remove different objects, even obstacles, one by one from our 3D model (eg.: trees, electricity poles, wires, etc …)


Why are drones needed?

With this computer mounted on a drone, we can create the map of an area and then coordinate the task based on this data. Drones create a 3D map of the predefined area and also show which parts the device has already scanned. These individual pieces are assembled in a control panel on-site, which allows you to quickly and accurately comb through each area in question.


In which areas are these devices useful?

The demand came primarily from architects and designers whose work is greatly supported by this incredibly accurate technology. With the help of this equipment, a specialist can create three-dimensional, millimeter-accurate drawings and documentation of any building,. Images taken with a laser camera can be used indefinitely during design work. With its help, it is possible, for example, to create three-dimensional walks and animations, which can even be used for tourism purposes in museums, various nature reserves, hotels or restaurants. In the situation caused by the coronavirus, it is especially important to create as much visual content as possible that can be uploaded to the Internet, with which we can not only present things, but also attract the attention of those who are interested.


Where has such technology been used in Hungary?

The ABZ Drone team, together with BuildEXT, took part in a survey of the City Park under construction, on a roughly two-and-a-half-acre construction site. Measuring this on the ground would have been a two- to three-hour process, but with LIDAR technology, it only took fifteen minutes. We surveyed the object under construction with a lidar laser camera mounted on an Altura Zenith ATX8 drone, and then the BuildEXT office created 3D point clouds from the obtained data, which were compared with virtual 3D plans to filter out any errors during construction.

You can think of the lidar scanner as if you spinned an iron bat. It quite simply senses the space around itself with an accuracy of 1 cm. It also has a precision GPS that measures itself approximately every millisecond – said Csaba Livják, the executive of BuildEXT, in a video made about the project.

It is a huge opportunity for ABZ Drone because we can test and use the most innovative Lidar solutions and we can take part in building projects that really defines the landscape of Budapest – added Zoltán Török, international drone pilot and the executive of ABZ Drone.

And here’s a video of the Lidar camera in action.


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