Hokuyo UTM-30LX Laser Scanner – LIDAR Overview

by on May 8, 2014

Hokuyo UTM-30LX

This is part of a series of posts talking about some of the common LIDAR’s used in robotics. At the end of these sensor profile articles there will be a final post that compares the sensors based on data collected by each of the sensors.

Evaluating LIDAR Guide
LIDAR Fundamentals
SICK TiM551 – LIDAR Overview
SICK LMS111 – LIDAR Overview
SICK LMS511 – LIDAR Overview
Hokuyo UTM-30LX – LIDAR Overview
LIDAR Review Comparisons

I hope this series (and particularly the final comparison post) proves useful.

Hokuyo UTM-30LX

The Hokuyo UTM is a nice little sensor. Until recently this was the smallest LIDAR scanner that was commercially available (the SICK TiM551 is a little bit smaller (and cheaper)). I would recommend this sensor for applications that need obstacle avoidance/detection at a range up to 30 meters. This sensor is not the best for mapping; while it has a resolution of 0.25 degrees the range tends to be a little noisy and have an accuracy of ±50mm.

In terms of reliability it feels cheaper then a SICK (plastic as opposed to metal enclosure). The cables (power and USB) for the sensor are hard-wired coming out from the rear of the sensor. I have mixed feeling about that, its nice since it comes with the cables, you don’t need to find the proper cables, and it can be more reliable than a connector. The downside is that it is a fixed length and if you need to change the cable length you will probably add a connector in the middle anyway. The sensor gets a little hot so it should be mounted to a heatsinked surface or have good air flow around it.

There is nothing in the data sheet about getting RSSI. However in previous models there was some undocumented commands that allowed you to get the RSSI data…

Hokuyo does do a good

The LIDAR has the wire colors written on the sensor housing. This is great and can help avoid lots of wiring mistakes. It uses European wire colors where brown is +V and blue is GND (or 0V).

The data sheet says that the nominal power draw is 8W. In my testing using 12.0V the power stayed pretty constant at 4.8W.

Range (m) 0.1-30 nominal
0.1-60 max
Field of View (degrees) 270
Angular Resolution (degrees) 0.25
Scanning Speed (Hz) 40
Spot Diameter (mm)
Range Accuracy (mm) ±50 (at 10m range)
Wavelength (nm) 905 (Hokuyo used to say 870. I am not sure if that was a mistake or a change)
Voltage (V) 10.8 – 13.2 (12 nominal)
Power (W) (nominal/max) 8/12
Weight (lb/kg) 0.46/0.21
Durability (subjective: (poor) 1 – 5 (excellent)) 3 (optics are IP64, plastic case might make the sensor more sensitive to noise)
Output Interface USB 2.0
Cost (USD) 5,590

As a reminder please Click Here to see the final test results from this LIDAR!

I would like to thank Hokuyo and Kirinson for lending me the UTM-30LX for this review.

Disclaimer: I am only borrowing this LIDAR and will return it when I am done with this evaluation. I have received no money or goods from the company in exchange for this review.

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