In a bid to expand the use of 3D LiDAR sensors in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other robotics and automation applications, Velodyne's LiDAR division has unveiled the Velodyne LiDAR Puck, dubbed the VLP-16.
The 16-channel, real-time LiDAR sensor is substantially smaller and, with an introductory price of $7,999, significantly less expensive than previous-generation sensors, Velodyne claims.
“There’s no longer any need to go through the hassle of combining several 2D sensors or mount one 2D sensor on a ‘nodding’ platform – now that one 3D sensor can do the job conveniently and at an even lower price point than multiple 2D sensors,” notes David Hall, company founder and CEO.
The unit’s low power consumption (less than 10 W), light weight (about 600 grams), compact footprint (100 mm x 65 mm) and dual return option make it ideal for UAVs, the company explains.
The LiDAR Puck supports 16 channels, 300,000 points/sec, 360-degree horizontal field of view, 30-degree vertical field of view and 15 degrees up and down. The puck does not have visible rotating parts – which makes it resilient in challenging environments, the company adds.
Effective immediately, Velodyne is taking orders at the introductory price. The product is expected to ship by the end of the calendar year.