New to drone development, need advise on where to start. Lidar UAV

Hi Guys, I am very new to the world of drones and I have some general questions to get a good starting point.
For a new research project we are tasked to create an indoor autonomous quadcopter using the lidar from hakuyo: urg-04LX-UG01 (1 horizontal and 1 vertical). The aim of the project is to develop an algorithm that will help stabilize and position the drone in an indoor environment, using the lidar and IMU data.

So I have been looking for a drone and a flight controller where it is easy to add the lidar systems to it, and where i can use existing code or write new code to use the sensor to better control the drone. I was wondering if you could help me with the following questions i have:

  • In general, what is the difference between px4 and ardupilot (why are they both existing and not one)?
  • is there support for lidar?
  • Is there any DIY or pre-assembled(preferred) drone which sounds suitable to the above description? (medium/small sized drone, carries around 500 gram payload, customizable (maybe guards)) We are now thinking about the DJI F330 and F450
  • what would be a good flight controller for this? (pixhawk 4?)
  • is px4 or ardupilot more appropriate for this?
  • Do you have any references to existing UAV lidar projects? preferably with the URG-04
  • would it be possible to tell the drone to avoid an object? or to tell it’s yaw angle changed (so that it can sensor fuse with IMU)
  • How would i go about that? what would be a nice starting reference? (probably with a raspberry send the data to pixhawk with mavros, but what kind of commands or protocol)

With kind regards,

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Hey, have you thought of setting up a simulated developer environment where you can test your code without having to deal with hardware?