The world’s first flying laser scanner
Leica Geosystems, a Leica subsidiary that specializes in laser imaging modules for mobile devices (in particular, has developed the latest BLK ARC laser modules for well-known Boston Dynamics robots that provide them with accurate visualization of the environment in real time), announced the imminent release of an autonomous drone with a laser simulation equipment — Leica BLK2FLY.
The device is based on several technologies that the manufacturer has combined under the name “GrandSLAM”. In particular, two applied SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping; Synchronous localization and mapping) technologies are mentioned:
- Lidar: Responsible for light detection and ranging.
- Optical: responsible for the visualization of the surrounding world in real time, through 5 wide-angle on-board cameras and a GNSS satellite package.
Thanks to this, the BLK2FLY drone is able to fly autonomously along an automatically generated trajectory in the 360-degree obstacle detection mode. The potential of this system guarantees the detection of high-voltage wires with a diameter of up to 5 mm.
The flight weight of the BLK2FLY drone is 2.6 kg. Unfolded dimensions: 53 × 32 × 14 cm. The machine is powered by a removable lithium-ion rechargeable 4S (14.8V) battery with a capacity of 6.75 Ah, 99.9 Wh. Interaction with the drone is carried out through two communication technologies Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi in the frequency range of 2.4 and 5 GHz. Flight control, including with the possibility of manual control, is implemented through the iOS application “BLK2FLY Live”. All data received by the machine is transmitted in real time to the HxDR Cloud managed by Hexagon.
carbon fiber + fiberglass
Weight (with battery):
Max. flight time:
13 min (at an altitude of 400 m above sea level)
Max. ceiling above sea level:
1 800 m
Max. flight speed (without detection and flight of obstacles):
Max. flight speed (with the definition and flight of obstacles):
Max. wind resistance:
lithium-ion 14.8 V, 6.75 Ah, 99.9 Wh
Slave. temperature range:
from + 5° to + 35°
iOS 13 or later with LTE support
2.4GHz (flight control)
5 GHz (receiving data)
Max. signal transmission distance:
about 100 m
B1 (according to IEC 60825-1)
Line of sight:
360° (vertical) / 270° (horizontal)
0.5 m – up to 25 m
Point measurement speed:
5-camera, 1.6MP, 300° × 180°, Global Shutter
<20 mm (concrete/brick surface)
Absolute surface (without GNSS):
40 mm (distance 4 m from the object, flight speed 7.2 km/h, flight 8 min, concrete/brick surface)
Vertical coverage area:
1550 m² in 12 min (0.5 dots/m²) 4700 m² in 12 min (0.17 dots/m²)
Horizontal coverage area:
1350 m² in 12 min (0.5 dots/m²) 4100 m² in 12 min (0.17 dots/m²)
wireless (WLAN and LTE); wired USB 3.1 (USB C)
Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360
Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 (BLK EDITION)
HxDR (Hexagon Digital Reality) (WLAN and LTE direct download)
Objects not detected: Cables <5 mm in diameter; The radar does not correctly recognize very thin objects such as cardboard or small tree branches. It may miss shiny, transparent or too dark surfaces.
First of all, the Leica BLK2FLY will face competition from integrators offering their own tools. If we talk about specific ready-made solutions, then the first competitors will be Parrot with their unique Anafi AI drone and Skydio, which recently announced the start of sales of its new Skydio X2 Color commercial drone.
Availability and price
At the moment, Leica Geosystems does not disclose the date of the start of sales, but the price is still known: 46,000 euros. The package includes the drone itself, related accessories and premium access to HxDR data processing software. More details about the latest commercial solution Leica BLK2FLY can be found on the official website of the developer.