How to capture and process SLAM data on the R2A and R360 LiDAR

Steps to successfully generate a SLAM point cloud

How to turn on SLAM mode

    1. Connect your device via Wi-Fi to the unit and login to the Web GUI
    2. Scroll down on the Status page to the  "SLAM Features"  section
    3. Switch to "On"
    4. Wait for the device to reboot. You should hear the camera click. 
    5. This should automatically change the scan pattern to Non-Repetitive Circular 
    6. On the Status page, you can now name your file. This is VERY helpful for SLAM scans as the names are similar across scans. 

Do not try to calibrate for SLAM against a wall or flat surface


How to calibrate for SLAM

  1. Turn on your device while powered by a lipo battery or other source. 
  2. Ensure SLAM mode is On, as above
  3. Find a complex scene to calibrate on. For example, the corner of a building or any area that has multiple surfaces. The side of a building or just one wall indoors would not be a sufficient start point. See video below for details.
  4. Hold the unit with the LiDAR on the bottom and camera on top. 
  5. Push the button on the unit, you should hear the camera click.
  6. Hold as still as possible for 10 seconds. 
  7. After 10 seconds, slowly sweep the laser back and forth then begin moving for your scan. 
HubSpot Video

How to capture SLAM data

    1. Use the R2A as a paint brush, pointing it at the environment to be recorded using smooth sweeping motions. 
    2. Please note that the camera will take pictures, but at this time the data is not colorized in SLAM mode. 
    3. As you scan an area, loop back through a previous scan as you travel from area to area, so that the SLAM algorithm can tie the entire scan together
    4. Don't point your unit at the open sky while scanning, this will cause a failure in the alignment. 
    5. Avoid areas with symmetrical planar surfaces (e.g. a small pedestrian tunnel with blank walls).
    6. The Field of View (FOV) is very wide (70 degrees) so you don't have to point the unit directly at what you want to capture. Instead, try to keep the whole in front of you. For example, you don't have to scan a building by pointing it straight at the building, you can just walk by it while scanning. 
    7. Make sure to perform Loop Closures - scanning an area already scanned
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    8. To stop scanning, simply press the unit's power button just like at the start of capturing data. 
    9. Hold the unit's power button for 4 seconds to trigger the shutdown procedure. There is no end of scan calibration or requirement to go all the way back to the starting point. 

The SLAM scan will not include data within 2 meters- so give some distance between yourself and your scan area. The scan will reach out about 15-20 meters. 

    Loop closure means coming back to an area already recorded. This helps keep the data aligned over time. We suggest performing a loop closure every 200-400 feet to avoid drift larger than a few inches. The more often the loop closures are performed, the less drift there will be in the data.

    How to Process SLAM Data

      1. After scanning, insert the USB into a computer with the latest PCMaster
      2. Open the PPK.PCMP file and the data will unpack - don't worry about the warnings about GNSS
      3. Make sure to register your unit and subscribe to SLAM Processing
      4. Create a project in Rock Cloud
      5. Use the CRS: SLAM Meters for both horizontal and vertical
        slam meters
      6. Upload the following files from your unpacked data: 
        1. Lidar.scan in the "lidar" folder
        2. PPK.PCMP in the project folder
        3. .IMR file in the INS folder upload
        4. Save your data to the project: 
      7. Click Process and Order SLAM Processing
      9. You'll get an email when processing is complete!