This Little Guy Is the Smallest Scanning Sensor Ever, Can Be Your Drone’s Eyes

A scanning microLiDAR about the size of a golf ball is LightWare LiDAR’s newest product and the world’s smallest scanning sensor. It is designed to help small unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs) such as drones navigate better.
LightWare SF45 microLiDAR sensor 1 photo
LiDAR stands for light detecting and ranging and it’s a technology involving laser scanning beams that map the surrounding environment. The technology determines the distance of an object by sending those laser beams and then measuring how long it takes for the reflected light to return to the receiver.

The SF45 scanning microLiDAR from LightWare weighs only 59 grams (2 ounces) and it’s a tiny device measuring only 51 X 48 X 44 mm (2 X 1.8 X 1.7 inches).

The sensor might be extremely small but that doesn’t reflect its technological capabilities in any way. The SF45 has a range of 0.2 up to 50 m (0.65 to 164 ft) and it is adjustable from 20 to 320 degrees, depending on your needs. It also comes with horizontal or vertical FoV (Field of View).

With an update rate of up to 5,000 readings per second and great adaptability to any lighting conditions, the SF45 microLiDAR sensor can be a reliable helper for various applications. It is suitable for navigation purposes, obstacle detection, terrain following, collision avoidance and so much more.

The SF45 can be used in direct sunlight, low light conditions as well as in complete darkness.

You can use the sensor with various controller types, as it comes with multiple hardware interfaces, and it is easy to configure. It is compatible with Pixhawk - ArduPilot, and PX4.

As LightWare LiDAR CEO Philip Constantine explains it, the microsensor gives eyes to your UAV, reducing the risk of catastrophe. It brings vision, safety, and practicality to all small autonomous devices that don’t come with 3D depth perception.

The SF45 microLiDAR is now available to order for a price of approximately $445.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories