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quadrotor with laser scanner?

asked 2014-05-17 09:42:12 -0500

CroCo gravatar image

updated 2014-05-17 09:46:08 -0500

I got tired of looking for quadrotor that supports laser scanner with reasonable price. I mean here at least < 5000 $. I came across a company that makes Asctec Pelican and other quadrotors. They did send me the list of the prices. The prices are absolutely crazy, more than 10,000 Euro. I don't want fancy quadrotor with sophisticated laser scanners. Just quadrotor that has reasonable laser scanner ( the laser's price < 1500 $) and I will be able to gather data to PC easily. I came across a bunch of laser scanners here. Some of them are good to my budget but I want a laser scanner with quadrotor as a one package. Please suggest me any platform that suits my needs.

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answered 2014-05-17 10:33:51 -0500

updated 2014-05-17 11:04:54 -0500

While some prices might seem high at first sight, you´ll also get a very mature system when willing to pay the price (and it seems a lot of people around the world are willing to do so), so I wouldn´t call prices "crazy", just not super affordable or so ;) .

If you´re on a tighter budget it is certainly possible to acquire a cheaper platform that also is quite capable, but the support and development burden will be on you. In recent years, a lot of quadrotor platforms came out that are quite capable of carrying a LIDAR in principle. Adding a small ARM-based board like the UDOO or Pandaboard allows reading LIDAR data or even doing onboard processing. Depending on the amount of work you want to perform yourself, it should be possible to mount a LIDAR to many platforms, provided they can lift enough payload.

Examples of LIDARs used on less pricy platforms (although the heavier Mikrokopters also are not the cheapest):

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First of all, thank you for the reply. I've checked all of them. It is not clear whether they are willing to sell the platforms. It seems they designed the quadrotors with no information about the cost nor their availability to be sold out.

CroCo gravatar image CroCo  ( 2014-05-17 11:13:31 -0500 )edit

Some of quadrotors are not expensive, so with the link that I've posted in my post some laser scanners 2D are not expensive. So it might be not impossible if there is a whole package. I just wonder.

CroCo gravatar image CroCo  ( 2014-05-17 11:16:15 -0500 )edit

That´s kind of the point: The less costly way is buying the different parts and building/assembling the complete platform yourself. There are a lot of quadrotor platforms out there, but no "cheap" integrated system featuring quadrotor, LIDAR and onboard computer.

Stefan Kohlbrecher gravatar image Stefan Kohlbrecher  ( 2014-05-17 11:24:34 -0500 )edit

When I say cheap, I mean in a range 5000 $ which is still expensive.

CroCo gravatar image CroCo  ( 2014-05-17 11:27:06 -0500 )edit

Asctec is the only company I know of that sells a complete package with or prepared for mounting a LIDAR. Come to think of it, it might be better to ask on a UAV related site, as this really is not about ROS.

Stefan Kohlbrecher gravatar image Stefan Kohlbrecher  ( 2014-05-18 20:59:23 -0500 )edit

Hey there, the uav in the second video is indeed a Mikrokopter (Quadro XL). It's around 1000 euros (+remote). Mounting e.g. a pandaboard (~180 eur) and a beginner level hokuyo (~1000 eur) is quiet easy, I didn't have access to a 3d printer at the time and managed with some wood, a saw and a drill.

jodafo gravatar image jodafo  ( 2014-05-18 22:43:50 -0500 )edit

However, you should seriously (re)consider using a 2d lidar on an uav. Especially if you go for a "cheap" 5m laser. It has some major drawbacks imho (e.g. range and rectilinearity assumption), and visual slam nowadays works pretty well, while cameras are usually cheaper than time of flight sensors.

jodafo gravatar image jodafo  ( 2014-05-18 22:48:11 -0500 )edit

But visual SLAM needs a depth camera(Kinect etc), then outdoor application is not possible ;-)

alfa_80 gravatar image alfa_80  ( 2014-05-19 02:40:41 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2014-05-17 09:42:12 -0500

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Last updated: May 17 '14