Remotasks 101: What Is LIDAR?

If you’re a Remotasker or someone interested in working with Remotasks, you might have heard of people talking about “LIDAR tasks.” Well, we’ve all heard of “radar” from popular media, our favorite shows, some movies, and even games. But LIDAR? Is this some form of secret code?

Not necessarily! Remember, our work in Remotasks involves identifying, labelling, and annotating various objects in different images and scenes. Our Taskers who work with 3D environments will likely encounter tasks that tackle LIDAR. So what exactly is it?

What is LIDAR?

LIDAR or Light Detecting and Ranging - is a kind of remote sensing method that allows users to examine a surface and its elements through light. Unlike radar that uses electromagnetic pulses to detect objects, LIDAR uses pulsed lasers.

Technically-speaking, LIDAR systems work with three components:

  • A laser that sends out the pulses to the objects the system is trying to detect.
  • A scanner capable of receiving data.
  • A special GPS receiver that triangulates the position of objects from the perspective of the LIDAR system.

What is LIDAR used for?

Thanks to the accuracy of LIDAR, it’s currently used in a ton of interesting ways today. Some uses of LIDAR range from general to very specific, including:

  • Agriculture, where LIDAR can scan fields to check crop viability, crop categorization, and crop mapping.
  • Astronomy to measure the topography of astronomical objects.
  • Meteorology, where LIDAR studies the atmosphere to check for molecular density of gases, pollution modelling, cloud profiling and gas composition, and creation of more accurate weather reports.
  • Conservation, where scientists use LIDAR to create models of habitats for biodiversity, measuring damage of floods and earthquakes, and managing coastlines.
  • Law enforcement, where LIDAR can be used to create 3D recordings of crime scenes and accidents.

What’s this got to do with Remotasks?

Interestingly, LIDAR also has uses for us people who rely on consumer electronics. On our end, we use LIDAR for:

  • Autonomous vehicles, which relies on LIDAR for navigation, avoiding accidents and obstacles, and autonomous control.
  • Image recognition, where we use LIDAR to recognize motion and gestures, and even reading lips.
  • Traffic, where LIDAR can be used to plan transport, railway infrastructure, and road design. It may also be used to reduce traffic and improve movement of vehicles.

In terms of our projects in Remotasks, we're often tapped to help out companies and teams with their efforts to apply LIDAR to future consumer tech that involves autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars and delivery robots).

This means we're actually helping out AI systems learn more about what they interact in the road through things we analyze with their LIDAR scans.

I want to try LIDAR tasks!

If you’re interested in trying your hand in these tasks, you can join us in Remotasks with a free account! You just need to sign up in the Remotasks website!

Do you want to read some more? Check out these Blog Posts too!

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