FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Browse through these FAQs to find answers to commonly raised questions.

Introduction to LiDAR

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. It is a technology that uses laser light pulses for contactless distance measurement. More information is available on our blog: https://www.blickfeld.com/blog/what-is-lidar-sensor/.

Blickfeld Sensors

Blickfeld LiDAR sensors use the time-of-flight method to measure the distance to objects. The sensor calculates the distance by measuring the time between the emission of a laser pulse and the detection of the light that bounces off the object. The sensors scan in three dimensions using Blickfeld’s proprietary MEMS scanner technology. More information is available on our blog: https://www.blickfeld.com/blog/mems-technology-for-lidar/

Choose the Qb2 for a large field of view, high resolution, and advanced data processing capabilities for volume monitoring and security applications. Cube 1 is an excellent alternative when low weight and dimensions are particularly important or when the budget is limited.

Choose the standard version if you require a small device footprint and weight and if the ambient temperature at the operating location is expected to not exceed 40 °C. If higher temperatures might occur, choose the Extended Temperature Range (ETR) version.

You need an end device with a recent internet browser to configure the device and view data output. The Cube 1 standard variant comes with a power supply unit with the approriate connector and an ethernet cable for data transmission, while the Cube 1 Outdoor and Qb2 products additionally require standard Power over Ethernet power supplying equipment. Blickfeld offers a range of optional accessories for mounting and cabling the devices.

The Cube 1 ships with a matching 12 V DC power supply. Maximum ratings are 10 – 26 V DC. Cube 1 Outdoor and Qb2 devices are powered via Power over Ethernet (PoE). You need a PoE power supplying equipment such as a PoE switch or injector that supports the IEEE 802.3af and/or IEEE 802.3at standard. These are the most common PoE standards.

Cube 1 sensors ship with a mounting bracket that provides a standard 1/4″-UNC camera thread.
For Qb2 sensors, Blickfeld offers different mounting options, including a camera mount that provides a standard 1/4″-UNC camera thread and a pan tilt mount which allows for flexible mounting of both Qb2 variants to both walls and poles. Contact sales@blickfeld.com for further information.

CAD data are available for download for all current sensor models at https://www.blickfeld.com/resources/.

The web interface of Blickfeld sensors is independent of the OS used but requires a recent internet browser.

The data rate is variable and depends on the number of detected echoes, however, maximum values can be specified. For Cube 1, a maximum of 6 MB/s applies with one evaluated echo per sampled point. With three evaluated echoes, the maximum data rate can reach up to 8 MB/s. Qb2 devices can require up to 10 MB/s. To reduce the bandwidth, the refresh rate of the Qb2 can be lowered from seconds up to several hours.For Cube 1, a maximum of 6 MB/s applies with one evaluated echo per sampled point. With three evaluated echoes, the maximum data rate can reach up to 8 MB/s. Qb2 devices can require up to 10 MB/s. To reduce the bandwidth, the refresh rate of the Qb2 can be lowered from seconds up to several hours.

The Qb2 supports the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n WiFi standards in the 2.4 GHz band and the IEEE 802.11 n/ac WiFi standards in the 5 GHz band.

The antenna is not necessary for operating the sensor. It is only required when using the WiFi functionality. Please note that WiFi operation is only permitted with the Blickfeld-authorized antenna.

Cube 1 sensors use their own data format (.bfpc) for point cloud data. Tools are available to convert this format to standard .vtu or .csv formats. Additionally, point cloud data can be retrieved via the API of the sensor and saved in any user-defined format via the user’s development environment.

Blickfeld sensors come with their own Application Programming Interfaces. For the Cube 1 product line as well as Qb2, Blickfeld offers client libraries supporting the C++ and Python programming languages. However, users can implement clients in further languages using the native sensor APIs. Additionally, Blickfeld provides drivers for the Robot Operating System (ROS). Further information and resources can be found at https://www.blickfeld.com/resources/#developer-tools.

No additional software is needed to configure and operate the sensors except for a recent internet browser.

Blickfeld sensors can be integrated into other software using the sensor’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and client libraries. Additionally, Blickfeld offers perception software, which transforms raw point cloud LiDAR data into actionable insights, accessible within your web browser. Qb2 sensors come with multiple software on-device features. Percept PC is currently available for Cube 1 sensors.

Yes. You can find corresponding ROS(2) drivers on the Blickfeld website at https://www.blickfeld.com/resources/.

Sensors can interfere with each other if they face each other directly or illuminate the same highly reflective objects in their field of views. However, due to the unique optical design of Blickfeld LiDARs, this interference is kept at a minimum. Double images or similar artifacts cannot occur. Merely a slightly increased false detection rate will be noticeable in worst-case scenarios.

Yes, the Blickfeld Percept software is capable of fusing the point clouds of several Cube 1-type sensors. With Qb2, this feature is integrated into the device firmware-

Perception Software

Blickfeld Percept is powerful LiDAR software that transforms raw point cloud data into actionable insights, all accessible through a web browser. Thanks to its intuitive interface and versatile modules, even newcomers to 3D data can effortlessly craft solutions. Percept seamlessly integrates into IoT systems via MQTT or a file-based data output API. It simplifies working with LiDAR data, making it easily accessible and valuable for various applications.

Blickfeld Percept is designed for customers across various industries who rely on stationary LiDAR sensors for space monitoring. Whether you’re in industrial automation, security, crowd analytics, intelligent transportation systems, or any other industry, we’re here to assist you. Your unique needs and applications matter to us, so please reach out to explore how Percept can benefit you.

Blickfeld Percept offers versatile solutions for various industries, including industrial automation, security, crowd analytics, and intelligent transportation systems.

Blickfeld Percept is compatible with the Cube 1 LiDAR sensor and runs on-device with the Qb2 LiDAR sensor.

To integrate Blickfeld Percept into your LiDAR setup, follow specific installation steps based on your Blickfeld sensor device: For Cube 1 devices, set up Docker, load the Percept image, and run docker-compose up.
Qb2 devices don’t require separate installation. Access the Percept Web Interface after installation. To fully integrate Percept, utilize its versatile output options like file storage (JSON/Protocol Buffer) or MQTT for real-time data. Detailed instructions are available in the official documentation, and expert assistance is on hand for your LiDAR needs.

Key features include object detection and tracking, intrusion detection, and volume computation. Percept also enables point cloud alignment to a virtual grid and registration of multiple device’s point clouds.

Example 1: People Flow Management on North Sea Beaches Blickfeld Percept is being used for people flow management along the North Sea coast. In partnership with Die Nordsee GmbH and EvoCount, Blickfeld’s LiDAR sensors and perception software anonymously count beach visitors for real-time occupancy visualization. This data helps tourists make informed decisions about their trips. Results have shown increased website usage and improved visitor guidance.

Example 2: Waste Volume Management at EEW Energy from Waste GmbH At EEW’s TREA plant, Blickfeld Percept LiDAR sensors continuously monitor waste volume in a massive bunker, while the corresponding perception software calculates the waste volume. This data optimizes plant efficiency and is accessible through a custom mobile app for waste stream management. EEW plans to expand the use of this data for greater operational efficiency. For more case studies and success stories, visit our case studies page.

Yes, we offer trial versions and demonstrations of Blickfeld Percept to interested customers. Contact our sales team to inquire about trial options and schedule a demo: https://www.blickfeld.com/contact/

We provide comprehensive documentation for Percept 1.0, compatible with Cube 1 here: https://docs.blickfeld.com/percept/latest/percept-manual/v1.6.3/getting_started.html
Documentation for Percept on device, which runs on Qb2, is part of the online documentation for the smart sensor: https://docs.blickfeld.com/qb2/Qb2/v1.8/index.html
We also offer technical support to assist users in integrating and using Blickfeld Percept effectively. Our service team is available to address any questions or issues you may encounter during the implementation and usage of the software.

Performance Considerations

Yes, Blickfeld LiDAR sensors meet laser safety class 1 according to the widely acknowledged IEC 60825-1:2014 standard, and are thus considered eye-safe.

Cube 1: Scans about 90.000 measurement points per second (single return).
Qb2: Scans about 180.000 measurements per second (single return).

Cube 1: The highest resolution that can be configured is 0.4° in the horizontal direction and 0.150° in the vertical direction.
Qb2: The highest resolution that can be configured is 0.25° in the horizontal direction and 0.225° in the vertical direction.

Blickfeld’s Cube 1 Outdoor and Qb2 sensors feature weatherproof housings with IP65 and IP67 ratings, respectively.

Blickfeld specifies detection ranges for its sensor in terms of a standard 10% reflectivity target, which resembles a strongly absorbing (dark) object. The corresponding value can be found in the sensor data sheet.

Highly reflective objects can be detected over long distances.

Precipitation and other atmospheric disturbances such as smoke, dust, or fog can increase the false detection rate of any LiDAR sensor. However, by experience, Blickfeld sensors perform very well in such scenarios, as long-term installations at the Northsea shoreline, inside waste facility bunkers, silos, and similar locations have shown.

Blickfeld LiDAR sensors are offered with IP6X-rated housings, which are dust-proof. Additionally, dust can affect the performance of the sensor in two ways. In the air, dust can increase the false detection rate of LiDAR sensors. However, Blickfeld sensors perform very well in such scenarios, as long-term installations inside waste facility bunkers, silos, and similar locations have shown. Additionally, dust can settle on the optical aperture of the sensor, which decreases the detection range. However, this is only a problem in extreme cases, such as inside silos containing powdered substances. For such cases, Blickfeld can offer a pneumatic cleaning as an add-on to the sensor.

Blickfeld’s Cube 1 Outdoor and Qb2 sensors feature weatherproof housings with IP65 and IP67 ratings, respectively. The Cube 1 standard version has an IP40 rating and is suitable for indoor use in dry conditions.

Support and Documentation

Blickfeld continuously improves its products and provides regular firmware updates with bug fixes and new features.

You can find an overview of available firmware for Blickfeld sensors under https://www.blickfeld.com/resources.

You can find information on Blickfeld performance specifications and request data sheets & manuals at: https://www.blickfeld.com/resources/.

Purchasing and Shipping

Please contact sales@blickfeld.com to receive an offer to your request.

Currently, Blickfeld offers payment by wire transfer.

Currently, Blickfeld accepts EUR, USD, and CNY dependent on the location.

One year of statutory warranty is provided.

All Blickfeld LiDARs are non-dual-use items under the Export Administration Regulations (ECCN: EAR99) and the EU dual-use regulation (EU) 2021/821.

Cube 1: Cube 1, printed user manual, matching 3 m Ethernet cable, 12 V power supply with wall plug connector according to destination country.
Cube 1 Outdoor: Cube 1, printed user manual, matching 3 m Ethernet cable.
Qb2: Qb2 in the ordered version, printed quick start manual and certified WiFi antenna.

Blickfeld ships to many locations world-wide. Our sales team at sales@blickfeld.com will be happy to give you further information.

Typically, you receive a tracking number either from Blickfeld or from the shipping partner.

In many cases, units can be shipped from stock from one of our logistic centers located in Germany, the United States, and China. Typically, this does not take longer than two weeks. Deliveries to destinations outside of those regions may have longer delivery times as well as larger volumes. Contact sales@blickfeld.com to find out about current lead times.

Standard Incoterm is DAP, exceptions may apply, please refer to your individual quotation.

Blickfeld takes care of all customs within the EU. Typically for the US and China, the same applies. For the rest of world, the local import customs may apply. Please always refer to your individual quotation and applicable Incoterms.

Couldn’t find the information you were looking for? 

Please get in touch with us at support@blickfeld.com. Our service technicians respond as fast as possible, usually within 24 hours.