Maurice Fallon is an Associate Professor in Engineering Science and a Royal Society University Research Fellow. He leads the Dynamic Robot Systems Group. His research is focused on probabilistic methods for localization and mapping. He has also made research contributions to state estimation for legged robots and is interested in dynamic motion planning and control. Of particular concern is developing methods which are robust in the most challenging situations by leveraging sensor fusion.
While mobile LiDAR sensors are increasingly used to scan in ecology and forestry applications, reconstruction and characterisation are typically carried out offline. Motivated by this, we present an realtime, handheld LiDAR system which can segment and track individual trees and build up a single globally consistent map. Tree models are created from different perspectives and then fit with least-squares optimisation to estimate the Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) of the trees. Experimental results demonstrate that whole forests can be mapped, segmented and inventory in the time take to walk the forest – roughly 2 hectares per hour.