LiDAR for $7999!


Many folks are going to be horrified at that price, but I look at it as less than autopilots cost back in the day. I think these will fly off the shelf for professional end users. Moores law seems not to apply to unmanned aviation, its too slow.

“Velodyne’s LiDAR Puck has the potential to be truly transformational, an enabling technology for a vast array of price-sensitive applications,” Hall said. “The introductory pricing of $7,999 for this next-generation LiDAR sensor makes choosing the ‘Puck’ a total no brainer for any automation or robotics application requiring timely 3D vision.

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.”

Full press release


Wolfgang speaking about Velodyne at sUSB Expo 14

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  • Velodyne are the company that make the Lidars for googles self driving cars, so a very reputable company.

  • Developer

    It is worth nothing that the price reflects this being a true LiDAR sensor with a 360deg horizontal and 30deg vertical scan. Resulting in a true 3D point cloud of the surroundings (press release claims 300,000 points/sec).

    Most hobby range sensors are not true LiDAR, but instead 360 range finders scanning a single line along the horizontal plane.

  • I wonder how much of the cost is in research as compared to the hardware, and how much this upfront research cost means to a mass produced product. Obviously its a lot of fancy software.

  • I agree that this kind of LIDAR sensor - I presume rotating will be very important for a lot of future uses.

    Although this is really still too pricey for most of us, there will undoubtedly be more as competition increases and eventually the prices will come down to where we can afford them too.

    Right now, probably the cheapest thing available to us is the Kinect V2 sensor for Windows.

    It uses a real 3D TOF camera as opposed to the old Kinects dot offset system.

    And it still suffers from over illumination situations (direct daylight).

    Of course for 2D Lidar type sensors, there is still the Neato and a few Kickstarter knock off scanners.

    It is also possible to scan in 2D or 3D a conventional laser range finder (like the one soon to be offered by 3DR).

    And with the new powerful tiny microcomputers and multi-GPU graphics processors, Optical flow and even more interestingly stereo 3D cameras are beginning to become realistic options.

    I think most of the interesting things that will happen in our future will relate to how we deal with position and motion in relation to a real time analysis of our environment and less related to absolute position - although both are good.

    Best Regards,


  • Pretty damn cool. Quite the reduction in size. I do suspect that photogrammetry will remain the most accessible method of point cloud generation for the time being, but LIDAR is starting to get to the point where it is viable for the average pro...

  • This is an amazing price point given the starting point of velodyne.  

    I could see airplanes installing these as a way to avoid other aircraft.  

  • This one is less expensive:

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