Say Hello to ROBIN MINI +UAV!

In by Nicola Dupont

robin mini mounted on a drone

Introducing the latest in Mobile LiDAR Technology

When it comes to emerging technologies, we always try and stay ahead of the curve. From the world’s first multi-platform mobile mapping system, to our patented, modular SITEMONITOR LIVE software – 3D Laser Mapping have always been at leading edge of geospatial innovation. UAV LiDAR has been one of the most anticipated mapping technologies of the last decade and we would be remiss in our obligations had we not sought to create the most flexible, stable and accurate system out there.

Say “Hello” to ROBIN MINI +UAV!

robin mini 3d scanner on drone

ROBIN MINI +UAV may not be the first lightweight UAV LiDAR system on the market, but we think it’s the best. For the last six months, our R&D team have been locked in our development lab tasked with creating a system which could be quickly and easily mounted onto different UAV systems, weighed under 4KG and provided the great point cloud densities and positional accuracies that our customers have come to expect. No mean feat, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Always up for a challenge, the thinking caps went on in R&D, sketches were drawn, thrown away and drawn again, carbon fibre was moulded, weighed, trimmed and weighed again, IMUs and scanners were tested, discarded and remounted and tweaked, until we had ROBIN MINI +UAV! We didn’t just want a system that would come in at under the standard payload limit for a commercial UAV, we needed a system which would deliver results.

ROBIN MINI +UAV combines the latest in LiDAR technology with exceptional positioning equipment and as always, the flexible features which make 3DLM’s systems unique.

Let’s Get Down to Business…

drone holding robin 3d lidar mapping scanner

We are lucky to have a great network of customers and partners who are inquisitive and open with their feedback. Following on from the ROBIN MINI +UAV preview, held before Christmas, we were asked a million questions. Well, maybe not a million but here are some answers to the most common ones:

How Much is ROBIN MINI +UAV?

The most commonly asked question by far! When it comes to LiDAR technology there is always a slight wince when one anticipates the answer to this question. Thanks to the accuracy and detail found in a LiDAR derived point cloud, it’s not surprising that LiDAR systems are often too expensive for smaller surveying businesses. ROBIN MINI +UAV comes in at an accessible price point with demonstrable benefits to sway even the most stringent Finance Director.

To answer this question honestly, it requires a little consultation. As with all of 3DLM’s innovations, ROBIN MINI +UAV has been designed with flexibility in mind. There are different battery options, depending on the intended application or UAV system being used. There’s the option for an anti-vibration damper to provide additional stability. There are also additional options which are still in development which some may see as a no-brainer. Have a chat to one of our UAV LiDAR specialists – they’ll provide you with a quote or proposal based on your exact requirements. They will also be able to provide you with comparison data, screenshots and more information on the latest developments.

robin drone
robin drone closeup
robin UAV drone scanner in flight

Does the Drone Come with the System?

ROBIN MINI +UAV is a modular, stand-alone system and has been designed to be mounted onto a range of commercial UAVs. As with all our mobile mapping systems, MINI +UAV can potentially be configured for a specific vehicle such as a fixed wing UAS.

For our test flights and product images, we mounted the system onto the DJI Matrice 600, known for its stability and extended battery life. Thanks to the carbon fibre mount and lightweight and compact laser scanner, ROBIN MINI +UAV weighs in at a mere 3.1kg, under the payload limit for most commercial drones.

How Does the Noise Level Compare with Other Systems?

In our test flight, ROBIN MINI +UAV retained a 15mm noise level compared to 30-40mm found with a cheaper ‘puck’ type system. One of our team can happily supply comparison data.

What Results Are Achievable With the System?

ROBIN MINI +UAV comprises of a lightweight laser scanner with a 100kHz pulse repetition rate. It can scan a maximum 100,000 scans/sec. Compared to big brother ROBIN’s 1,000,000 this may appear low, however in a recent demo the system produced a point cloud density of 200 points/m2 with overlapping flight lines and 90 points/ m2 with one pass.

A high attitude and positional accuracy was also achieved using a lightweight, dual antenna IMU (inertial measurement unit) – meaning that despite the compact nature of the system, accuracies are not compromised.

robin scan
uav scan
3d scanning via drone

Is the System Complicated to Install and Initialise?

One of the biggest selling points of UAVs has been the ability to deploy systems quickly. ROBIN MINI +UAV is no exception. In a recent demonstration, we used a client’s UAV system for a test flight and timed how long it took to set up and initialise ready for data capture.

  • System Set Up/Mounting: 3 minutes
  • Static Initialisation: 2 minutes
  • Airborne Initialisation: 5 minutes

In just ten minutes, ROBIN MINI +UAV was in the air, capturing data. Fast huh?

The client found it straightforward and simple to mount the system, needing hardly any help from our Engineer Shaun who was on hand just in case.

overhead view of building site

Have Another Question??

Hopefully we’ve answered some of the questions which may have popped into your head since seeing ROBIN MINI +UAV. Visit the main webpage to download the brochure and datasheet or to see the system in action.

This list of questions clearly doesn’t cover everything you would need to know to snap up a ROBIN MINI +UAV right this second so why not give our friendly team a call to find out more +441949838004 or drop us a line at