FARO put its Focus lidar on a UAV for wide-area scanning

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The picture may seem like a Photoshop joke, but it’s very real. In fact, companies like Belgian firm Think 3D have been mounting FARO Focus lidar scanners on STORMBEE UAVs for at least a year and change (see video below). Now, FARO and STORMBEE are making the setup official and announcing it to the wider market as a “breakthrough wide-area 3D scanning solution.” The integrated solution includes one of FARO’s focus laser scanners, and STORMBEE’s S series UAV and BEEFLEX processing software.

In an official release timed well to hit right before Commercial UAV Expo, FARO explains that the integrated solutions are intended for scanning large construction sites, buildings, open-pit mines, and highway or train infrastructure.

The main benefit, of course, is flexibility. A 3D scanner on a drone is capable of covering much more ground than the same scanner on a tripod. “This airborne solution,” FARO adds, “further enhances productivity by allowing users to capture complex environments such as factories, chemical plans or other infrastructure features inaccessible to ground-based scanning.”

FARO lists the product on its official page as part of a larger “traceable construction” workflow that uses terrestrial, mobile, and aerial capture to gather 3D data of existing structural conditions on the job site.

The BEEFLEX processing software included with the integrated solution is tooled to fit this workflow as well. For one, its makers boast that it can create “centimeter-level accurate point clouds directly from the in-flight data.” The software will also export data directly to FARO’s software ecosystem for combination with terrestrial scan data as well as construction QC or CAD modeling applications.

For more information—including pricing and different configurations—see FARO’s website here and contact the vendor directly.

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About Author

SPAR 3D Editor Sean Higgins produces SPAR 3D's weekly newsletters for 3D-scanning professionals, and spar3d.com. Sean has previously worked as a technical writer, a researcher, a freelance technology writer, and an editor for various arts publications. He has degrees from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he studied the history of sound-recording technologies. Sean is a native of Maine and lives in Portland.

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