Taru Hakanen, Paul Kemppi & Petri Tikka
May 9, 2023

Mobile 3D LiDAR-based object and change detection in factories

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) commonly use Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) scanners for Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM). LiDARs used are in an increasing manner 3D, so they form a 3D digital twin of the factory while moving around taking care of e.g. internal logistics tasks. In addition to basing autonomous navigation on 3D LiDARs, the point clouds created by LiDARs, could be used more extensively in factories. One of our latest studies focused on finding new use cases for LiDAR point clouds and developed a new solution for autonomous, mobile object and change detection (Hakanen, Kemppi & Tikka; 2023).

Figure 1. Detected changes with the 3D LiDAR scanner.

The developed solution bases on mobile robots' autonomous rounds during which they scan the environment repeatedly. The point clouds scanned on recurrent rounds are compared automatically in terms of identified changes. The solution may be useful for, e.g., detecting large items left in the wrong places, obstacles on AMRs’ routes and blocked fire doors and emergency exits. The relatively accurate as-is 3D model of the factory can be used as a basis for factory renovation and modernisation and progress monitoring. Thus, a robot primarily used for e.g. internal logistics becomes multi-purpose, supporting many operations – internal logistics, production, maintenance and safety!

Table 1. Identified use cases.

Read our paper to find out more about the study and the technical solution we developed and tested in MURO project!

Hakanen et al. (2023). Mobile 3D LiDAR-based Object and Change Detection in Production and Operations Management.


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