“LiDAR is an important piece to the puzzle of accurate models,” said Arjun Menon, DJI’s Engineering Manager, at this morning’s AirWorks keynote. “The challenges of LiDAR have always been in the category of production,” he notes – a highly functioning, lightweight and inexpensive LiDAR appropriate for drone use has been hard to find. “We are increasingly interested in bringing more accessible and affordable LiDAR to the skies,” says Menon.
The DJI drone LiDAR program has been working towards making LiDAR more accessible – and today, they introduced Livox and Avia.
“DJI has been investing directly in lidar technology through its open innovation program that incubated Livox Technology Company,” says DJI. “Livox’s new 498 gram lightweight Avia lidar sensor is compact, capable and able to be attached directly to the DJI Matrice 200 and Matrice 300 series drones to enable highly accurate 3D aerial mapping. It features long-distance detection range up to 460 meters, high-density point clouds and supports up to three returns. By bringing this affordable and scalable lidar solution to the skies, use cases will extend well beyond the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry and open new ways for public safety professionals, utility inspectors, and more to digitize their operations with the power of drone and lidar technology.”
Christopher Chen, Livox Sales Director, says that part of Livox’ success comes from leveraging DJI’s production expertise: helping them to solve the problem of delivering less expensive and more accessible LiDAR technology. Avia was developed for integration into drones – but Chen says that Avia will also enable other robotics applications like autonomous vehicles.
Avia, first shown at CES at the beginning of this year, will be available for pre-order in September.
An integrated, lightweight LiDAR sensor could provide a major advantage for DJI in the enterprise market, where LiDAR solutions could revolutionize many of the mapping and inspection applications that drones provide.