Billy the LiDAR Elephant

LiDAR, elephant, London, Gabon, point cloud, data, UAV, autonomous, car

While on a mission measuring trees in the forests of Gabon, University College London students accidentally captured this interloper during their survey.

Rendered by a laser scanner that’s commonly found in autonomous cars and industrial grade 3D scanners Billy the elephant is an excellent example of the detail available to systems that use LiDAR (Laser Interferometry Detection and Ranging) to sense and respond to their environment.

As more autonomous systems come online in the coming decade point cloud images like the one above will be the foundation of many technological interactions. If 3D scanning LiDAR systems become ubiquitous it might be possible to reassemble the past events, like a car crash, and determine exactly what happened during the event.   

Image Courtesy of Simon Lewis