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 Robotics: Laser Grid Displacement Experiment
Posted on 2013-05-27 @ 17:16:30 by r00t

What do you get when you take a laser module, some diffraction gratings, and a post on reddit?

This experiment came about because of a post I made on the subreddit r/Cyberpunk about a design mockup of a device called "Lumigrids", meant as a safety system and light for a bicycle:

Lumigrids While Cycling - Yanko Design

Some on the subreddit were sceptical that it could work, but I made the comment that it could, and that it was something that I had investigated for a low-cost LIDAR-like system for hobbyist robotics. I noted that I would produce a small demo of the concept, and this was the result:

Laser Grid Experiment - Imgur


The Apparatus
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Laser Grid Displacement
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Essentially, the system - if implemented in full - is the same as a structured light 3D scanner; in this case, the structured light is a grid made with diffraction gratings and a low-cost LED laser module. Again, if this were implemented as part of a robot vision system, it wouldn't have a high-enough resolution to gain object detail, but it likely would be enough to gain information for object avoidance as well as path planning (especially when coupled with other sensors such as GPS and cameras).

You can also download the album and descriptions below.

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Laser Grid Experiment - Imgur.zipLaser Grid Experiment - Imgur Album 1795.17 Kb
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