Two new autonomous 3D scanning sensors join Hexagon’s ranks

By Riley SimpsonSeptember 08, 2021

Leica has introduced two new construction technology products, including the BLK2FLY, a fully integrated and autonomous sensor that scans structures and environments accurately – entirely from the air

Leica Geosystems, part of software giant Hexagon, has introduced two new construction technology products, the BLK2FLY and the BLK ARC, to the company’s portfolio of digital reality capture sensors.

The Leica BLK2FLY is an innovative, fully integrated and autonomous flying laser-scanning sensor that’s controlled via a tablet and allows users to easily scan structures and environments accurately and entirely from the air.

According to Leica, the BLK2FLY can obtain data on inaccessible or hard-to-reach areas such as rooftops or façade projections to ensure a complete capture of a building’s exterior features and dimensions.

The Leica BLK ARC is a laser-scanning sensor built to improve the autonomous navigation of robots and other carrier platforms that combines speed, accuracy and versatility.

The BLK ARC captures 3D point clouds and panoramic images of changing environments with minimal user intervention, Leica said.

“The BLK2FLY and BLK ARC illustrate Hexagon’s commitment to empowering an autonomous future with smart digital realities,” said Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén. “The purposefully integrated sensor-software systems are tailored to bring autonomous agility and speed to any reality capture workflow. The robots, sensors and software work together, dynamically adjusting reality-capture missions to offer seemingly limitless business applications – from as-built site documentation for buildings to monitoring and situational awareness of remote or hazardous environments, such as mines, factory floors, off-shore facilities, fire investigations and more.”

Both new technologies connect directly to Hexagon’s cloud-based visualization platform, HxDR, and immediate data from the field is uploaded for AI-enabled cloud processing and storage.

The Leica BLK ARC

With the BLK2FLY comes the next generation of flight safety with advanced autonomous obstacle avoidance, thanks to the sensor’s fusion of LiDAR (light detection and ranging), radar, cameras and global navigation satellites.

Although the first robotic compatibility for the BLK ARC is with Boston Dynamics’ Spot, the software can be integrated with other autonomous robotic carriers.

In its experience with Spot, the robot has carried the BLK ARC scanner through an environment while the Leica technology solution improves Spot’s navigation while capturing 3D data. According to Leica, that combination provides the robot with greater autonomy and enables users to safely build 3D models of any area the robot can go.

The company said that users can combine data from the BLK2FLY with interior scans of buildings captured with the Leica BLK2GO, Hexagon’s handheld 3D scanner, and the resulting colorized 3D point clouds are instrumental to building information modeling processes and documenting site conditions.

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