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 Robotics: Low Cost Arduino LIDAR - An Approach
Posted on 2013-09-23 @ 21:56:23 by r00t - Read the parent: Low Cost LIDAR and Laser Range Finders: Where Are They?

I found this interesting article, via an Arduino Forum thread, on how to hook up a low-cost true laser "tape measure" to an Arduino and read it via serial control...

The particular "laser tape measure" is a UNI-T UT390B, relatively cheap at around $60.00 USD (and free shipping!). In the article at the Solder and Flux blog the author details how to disassemble the meter, hook up to the on-board serial port, and read it. Pretty damn neat!

The author also recently posted another article detailing how to parse the data received, complete with code for the Arduino.

One could conceivably take this system, set up a stepper motor with a mirror, and scan the laser in a 2D fashion (a post in the Arduino Forum thread mentioned a speed of 3 measurements per second - not blazingly fast, but better than nothing, I suppose!) to build up a 2D distance array; mount it to a pan/tilt servo system, and a 3D point cloud becomes possible (sloooowly). There would have to be a "re-calibration" in the software to take into account the bounce distance from the mirror (and you'd probably want to use first-surface mirrors as well). But it should be easily doable...

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