Yesterday, RIEGL’s LiDAR 2015 conference kicked off in Hong Kong with more than 300 in attendance. After a short welcome from CMO Johannes Riegl Jr., company CEO Dr. Riegl began the opening ceremony in earnest. He started by explaining why RIEGL had decided to host this year’s conference halfway around the world. RIEGL, he said, has recently opened an office in China to meet the growing demand for their products. The 3D laser scanning market in China is growing very quickly and the conference assures that RIEGL is well represented in the area. After two days in Hong Kong, the conference will be moving to Guangzhou in mainland China to ensure that their Chinese audience can easily attend.
Next, he announced a few additions to RIEGL’s hardware portfolio. As he spoke, a man on the side of the stage pulled away some artfully placed curtains, literally unveiling REIGL’s new products. First up was the new VUX-1 line of scanners.
The original VUX-1, which made its debut at ILMF back in 2014, has been renamed the VUX-1UAV. This new model name indicates its intended use–UAV scanning. The next scanner is the VUX-1 HA, which stands for “high accuracy.” Dr. Riegl touted the scanner as taking 1 million measurements per second at an accuracy of 5mm (the UAV version has an accuracy of about 10mm). It is intended for short-range, high-accuracy scanning scenarios such as mobile mapping and tunnel profile measurements. The last scanner in the series is the VUX-1LR, which stands for “long range” and has a max range of about 1,350 meters. Dr. Riegl proudly called it the “perfect long range sensor for flying at higher altitudes.”
All three VUX-1 scanners look nearly identical but are tailored to specific applications. They cover all possible types of kinematic scanning, says Dr. Riegl, including aerial, uav-based, mobile, “and even man-carried.”
Such attention to specific applications would prove to be a theme for the rest of RIEGL’s new products as well. Next up for showcasing was the RIEGL VP-1 helipod, a helicopter-mounted scanning system. The VP-1 is specifically built to be easily mounted on a manned helicopter, and just as easily removed. It’s also a fully integrated system with all necessary components inside, including a scanner (either the VUX-1LR or VUX-1UAV), cameras, and an IMS/GNSS. Dr. Riegl explained that it can easily turn a regular helicopter into a surveying helicopter immediately, essentially making it a plug and play surveying solution.
Lastly, he spoke about RIEGL’s mobile mapping product, a single-sensor mobile mapping system called the VMQ-450. The VMQ-450 looks very much like the smaller sibling of the VMX-450 and Harald Teufelsbauer confirmed the similarity during a presentation on RIEGL’s mobile scanning business. The VMQ-450 is based on similar technology to the VMX system, but has been engineered to be more compact and lighter (<50kg), to take a 360 scan from the single sensor, and to cost less money and meet the demands of smaller budgets. On top of that, has a multiple-swivel mount for the scannerthat allows the user to turn it in a specific direction depending on the requirements of the current project.
In other words, what we are seeing is RIEGL continuing to make hardware for the specific application, much like they’ve done with their terrestrial scanners in the past. This year they’ve shown strong commitment to develop their other scanning lines so that you can find a RIEGL scanning solution for all kinds of projects, budgets, and circumstances.
Stay tuned for more from RIEGL LiDAR 2015 in Guangzhou, and more information on RIEGL’s new products.