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Trending LiDAR applications for IoT

The convergence of machine and sensor technology is creating an exciting era for many innovative businesses operating in a multitude of industries. The new world of robotics, unmanned vehicles, and Internet of Things (IoT) is creating big demand for accurate sensors that give machines eyes.  

Moving deeper into the world of autonomy and automated process flows, sensors are proving to be the answer! Not only do they provide machines with much needed perception of distance, sensors also significantly enhance the capability for rapid data collection. This makes them the essential fit for all tech-driven businesses.

The sensor poster child: LiDAR

Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR, has taken remote sensor technology to a new level. LiDAR sensors use the power of laser and Time of Flight (ToF) principle to measure the time it takes for emitted laser pulses to deflect off objects and return to the LiDAR sensor. With LiDAR also able to generate its own light source, it is highly effective in multiple weather conditions and is eye-safe!

LiDAR is multi-functional, used by businesses operating in industries like agriculture, construction, mining, conservation, and law enforcement, to mention just a few.  What makes LiDAR so great is that it can be maximized to investigate, monitor, and control the environment. This is especially beneficial for IoT-driven businesses that are innovating for smarter ways of working and living.     

With LiDAR fitted to a growing number of IoT applications, we dedicate this special edition of LiDAR Matters to explore and unpack trending LiDAR applications for IoT:

  1. LiDAR for traffic and transport management

With the global population rising and migration to urban areas increasing, traffic congestion and pollution becomes a growing socio-economic problem for many cities. A rise in traffic also leads to more accidents and infrastructure damage, proving a huge cost to local governments.

LiDAR is fast becoming the key solution in this regard. For transport planners, LiDAR’s ability to precisely map surroundings make it ideal for the planning of transport and road networks. LiDAR also provides valuable data on the flow of traffic at certain intersections, allowing city planners to tailor specific solutions.

2. LiDAR for law enforcement

The rate of urban migration has also led to an increase in crime. It is why law enforcement agencies have made LiDAR their partner in crime.

For use in forensics, LiDAR can map a crime scene in a matter of minutes and without the risk of human error. This data collected also allows police to virtually revisit the exact crime scene setting at any time. LiDAR is also used to enforce speed limits, map fingerprints in high detail, as well as reliably recognize license plates and vehicles.  

3. LiDAR for smart production

With factories embracing smart processes to maximize production, cut costs and increase revenue, LiDAR is the essential fit for industrial and smart driven businesses.   

Being highly accurate and precise, LiDAR is becoming an affordable gamechanger for production lines and industrial processes such as silo and volumetric measurement, level process control, as well as conveyor belt monitoring. LiDAR is also an essential tool for warehouses, particularly effective for accurate inventory management and cost-control.  

4. LiDAR for smart agriculture

With growing food security, agricultural production metrics and harvest insights are a big industry demand. In this case, LiDAR provides farmers with valuable data on land, soil, and crop viability. 

LiDAR sensors are also being integrated on farming equipment to perform crop viability exercises. This data proves essential to analyze the landscape, allowing farmers to accurately forecast areas and improve yield. LiDAR is even essential in analyzing soil properties, guiding farmers to avoid soil erosion.

5. LiDAR for sustainability monitoring

With an increasing emphasis placed on the climate change agenda, LiDAR provides key data on and about the environment. This helps scientists plan and implement sustainability and green energy projects. 

A specific LiDAR application in this regard is cloudprofiling. LiDAR can penetrate clouds, which can prove invaluable to gather cloud statistics and related information on climate change. Similarly, LiDAR is also used to analyze gases in the atmosphere, providing a highly accurate point map for scientists.

6. LiDAR for biology and conservation

Effectively able to gather key metrics on landscapes and species, LiDAR is maximized for ecological and conservation research. Global success stories include rhino and whale conservation, as well as forest fire and coastline management.

Another key application in this regard is forestry management, where LiDAR is breaking new ground in providing large-scale surveys at an affordable cost. This allows foresters to measure canopy density and height.  

Essential Read: The future is microLiDAR™  – small, light, affordable

LightWare engineers solve IoT challenges

LightWare engineers have over 40 years’ experience in manufacturing quality microLiDAR™ sensors for use in multiple IoT and unmanned vehicles applications.  

We also offer tailored LiDAR solutions for industrial use, where quality, accuracy and data-compliance are paramount for your business objectives.

Partner with us to solve your IoT challenges
Contact us on [email protected] and we’ll partner to achieve your microLiDAR™ objectives.

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