How to use LiDAR for outdoor use

What is LiDAR?

Robots and industrial vehicles that work outdoors need to be aware of the environment in harsh environments, and in order to travel on a defined route in a stable and accurate manner, they must be aware of the space. A product called LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is generally used for spatial recognition. LiDAR irradiates a wide range of laser light and measures the time of the light reflected by hitting an object such as a wall or a person in the surrounding environment, and measures the distance and shape to the object.


Since 2003, Hokuyo Electric has released a two-dimensional scanning type LiDAR under the name of range sensor. At that time, it was described as an LRF (Laser range finder) or laser scanner, and has been used for about 20 years for environmental recognition applications mainly for industrial robots and robots engaged indoors such as AGVs. In recent years, as the number of robots engaged in outdoor fields has increased, sensors that can be used even in outdoor environments are becoming necessary.

How to use LiDAR outdoors

Unlike the indoor environment, it is necessary to clear various conditions in order to recognize the space in the outdoor environment. For example, it may be a shield that blocks the object to be detected, such as rain or snow, or it may be affected by ambient light from sunlight. In addition, since it may be used in low temperature environments, it is necessary to incorporate various weathering functions into LiDAR.

Separate rain and fog

Hokuyo Electrics LiDAR is equipped with a multi-echo function as one of the functions to clear such conditions. When a laser hits a transparent object such as glass, rain, or fog, a translucent object may return to the sensor. .. The multi-echo function is a function that can acquire distance data from multiple laser beams returning on the same step angle.
If you use this function, you will be able to sort out objects with similar distance values such as rain and fog, and objects with long distances that you actually want to detect. In addition to rain and fog, the laser beam also escapes to some extent even in places where fine dust and dust are flying, so multi-echo is effective in an environment where floating substances such as dust and dust are flying.

Low temperature environment

In addition, Hokuyos LiDAR has a lineup of products equipped with a heater function for application in low temperature environments. When the temperature drops below 0 degrees, the heater installed inside the sensor operates and it can be used in the same way as in a normal temperature environment even in a low temperature environment.


Demand for LiDAR is expected to increase significantly in the future, such as for autonomous driving, industrial vehicles, and AMR. If you are considering LiDAR for outdoor use, or if you have any problems, please feel free to contact Hokuyo Electric. Based on the know-how cultivated over many years, we will propose LiDAR according to the environment and application.

LiDAR for outdoor use

・LiDAR outputs data with a range 30m and 270°

・LiDAR measures a distance 40m and a range 270°

・LiDAR outputs data with a range 50m and 190°. A metal case is used for the housing

・LiDAR outputs data with a range 30m and 190°

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