Two applications for the use of a laser-scanning device are currently under investigation at Lancaster University. Lancaster University Computerised Intelligent Excavator (LUCIE) is an autonomous excavator which navigates using GPS and compass readings. Work is currently concentrating on navigational safety, for which the rotoscan sensor is employed for obstacle detection, and for possible self-localisation and environment comprehension in ambiguous operational states. Starlifter is a robotic arm built by Construction Robotics Ltd. The rotoscan sensor in this instance is to be mounted on the tool head and used as a final positioning navigation tool. Both these applications rely heavily on the interpretation of the received data, and the ability to filter out any interference. This paper initially outlines the mode of utilisation of the laser range finder within such applications and then proceeds to investigate the implications and potential limitations of such a sensor following the analysis of the sensory data from external field trials.