Low cost Robotic Total Station options?

Yeah, yeah, I know, low cost and robotic total station don’t go hand in hand. (much less being robotic).

But figured I’d ask since the same similarly could have been said about GNSS equipment before Emlid came onto the scene. Thank you Emlid! : )

Has anyone come across a company like Emlid that provides low cost Robotic Total Stations that have reflectorless laser EDM (ToF)?

Or maybe a lower cost 3D Disto type alternative product but with built in GNSS also like the RS2? Seems this would fit more in a lower cost option like Emlid is to GNSS.

If not, maybe something Emlid could look into for a future product? I am quite sure many would be interested in something like this. I.e. RS2 is $1899 US, so would be more than willing to pay roughly double that for a hybrid device like this, especially since a 3D Disto goes for about $8000 US.

Thank you!

Did you mean to say robotic? The definitely makes your hunt a tough case. Expect about $15k at least. If not then you might look for a Futtura TS-100. They are a pretty decent reflectorless for about $1800 but the reflectorless is only 200-300 meters. There is also the AdirPro 714 that is about $2500 and the reflectorless jumps up to 600-700 meters.

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Look on ebay. There are usually some ok deals to be had. But for a robotic setup, you probably don’t anything reasonable modern or in good enough condition for under 5k-6k usd.

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yeah… kinda figured so… $$$$$$

so… I guess what I am now suggesting… is we need another “disruptor” for the Robotic Total Station/Hybrid/laser layout (like 3D DISTO)/GNSS world like Emlid is to the GNSS only world.

; )


I’ve noticed the Trimble 5600 series “ROBOTIC” Total Stations are much lower priced than most?

Anyone know the catch as to why? Is it the radios? Or not supported by software or something? Are they slow or just not any good?

Anyone know if they work with MicroSurvey FieldGenius for Windows? I know they aren’t supported by MicroSurvey and Trimble will not work with MicroSurvey for updated drivers etc for good reason… but wonder if anyone has Trimble RTS working with FG?

Do you need the Geodimeter Control Unit (keypad and display) for it to function? Or can work without via data collector software on prism pole?

Thank you!

Probably because it is an old model. The last digit is the second (") rating as far as the accuracy of the turns. They got a bad rap on these because they sold 1, 2, 3 and 5-second models and there was barely any difference in accuracy between 1,2 and 3 so they were selling a 1-second gun for almost $5000 more than the 3 and it wasn’t performing as such in the field. If you are finding a 5600 series “new” it has been sitting on a shelf for a long time. Make sure you verify it is new as soon as you get it by verifying the serial with Trimble and if it’s all good then get it calibrated immediately. That said they are good guns. We used a 3-second for about 6 years (15 years ago) before we moved to Topcon.

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thank you @chascoadmin, much appreciated.

I’ll keep researching, but I heard something about maybe possibly illegal radio frequencies with this and you have to change them out or something? I’ll keep looking.

I guess the big thing is using it with FieldGenius (Windows, not Android as RTS not ready for FGA yet?)? I it’s not “supported”, but sometimes even if not supported things wortk for the most part? Just wondering if anyone has done this with Trimble products and FieldGenius?

I just don’t want to be raked over the coals with a Trimble Access $$$$ subscription or whatever they force on ya in addition to their data collectors cost to use it $$$$$.

As far as I know robotic total stations do not transmit any frequencies that are governed in the United States. As far as FieldGenius you got me but I know they will happily help. Let me know if you aren’t getting anywhere.

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5600 series is no longer made. You will have problems repairing if any mechanical issues arise as to lack of parts.

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By the way, Mark Silver is a ROCKSTAR!

Wish EMLID or someone could really disrupt the optical Robotic Total Station industry with a fair priced machine. Robotic Total Stations for “most” are just way out of reach.

(1) X-PAD Ultimate reviewed by surveyor & dealer with 40+ years experience - YouTube


Yep, Mark is at the peak of salesmanship. I really like his informational videos about the software or hardware he sells.

The cheapest and best on the market is the Carlson robot. Best value for the money.


Emlid…see if Mark will be a consultant for you and/or test your products; he is incredibly knowledgeable

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