During a visit to Applanix headquarters, LiDAR Magazine was given more than just a glimpse into the trends shaping Geospatial GNSS/IMU technology: they gained first-hand access to the experiences and vantage point of Joe Hutton, Applanix’ Director of Airborne Products—and a peek at the company’s key to success for remaining agile in a dynamic industry.
Discussed in detail was the growing UAV-LiDAR and Autonomous Vehicle (AV) market, now that users and stakeholders are realizing how high-quality data can be gleaned from LiDAR sensors through increasingly efficient and cost-effective means.
Also discussed was the unique connection that exists between the Automotive Industry and UAV surveying, including the capabilities they share, such as SLAM and Visual Odometry (VO). Joe explained how demand for high-performance gyros and MEMS sensors in the AV industry drives down costs in adjacent markets. Joe also explored how the future of cloud computing, deep-learning and artificial intelligence (AI) could make UAV surveying a fully autonomous process—acknowledging that, in many ways, the technology already exists.
Most notably, Joe examined how Applanix leverages parent company Trimble’s internal markets and industry knowledge (particularly in GNSS) to produce highly customized products that adapt to, and grow with their OEM client base. A tour of the Applanix facilities illuminated the fundamental mindset that has permeated the company’s culture from day one. That is, a sense of innovation and play, which motivates their talented engineers to push the limits of design, and deliver personalized performance and service to their clients.