I had posted a link over on LetsMakeRobots last week to highlight this new product that had been developed for the Hobbyist / Open Source Community. Open source laser rangefinder sensor. up to 9m $100USD
Open source laser rangefinder sensor. Including optics, laser, detector, amplifiers and sequential-equivalent-time-sampling (SETS) circuits, it is a 'bare-metal' front end component for a laser rangefinder system. Now available.
- Range :: 0.5 ... 9 m
- Resolution :: Adjustable
- Update rate :: Adjustable: 3 ... 50 readings per second
- Accuracy :: Adjustable
- Power supply voltage :: 12 V (10 … 16 V)
- Power supply current :: 50 mA
- Outputs & interfaces :: Timing & laser signal outputs
- Dimensions :: 27 x 56 x 65 mm
- Weight :: 57 g
- Mounting :: 4 x M3 (3.2 mm diameter)
- Connections :: 0.1 in. pitch header
- Optical aperture :: 53 mm
- Laser power :: 14 W (peak), 6 mW (average), Class 1M
- Operating temperature :: - 20°C ... + 60°C
The next morning after posting it, I was greeted by an email from the manufacturer, thanking me for the posting and offering me a trial. I quickly accepted, on the promise that I would completely document my process/progress, and would share back anything I developed for it.
I was quite pleasantly surprised to see a package from DHL within just a few business days (Coming from South Africa to Canada!) and here begins my journey into un-packaging, marvelling, reading... more reading, whiteboarding, and developing a useful and cheap interface between this Laser Range Finder module, and our hobbyist Robots.
As the documentation describes, this is a bare bones Range finder, requiring a microcontroller to set up and process the ranging data. Nothing we are not all familiar with on our various IR and UltraSound Range Finders. There's just a little bit more to this one.
LightWare Optoelectronics employs Sequential Equivalent Time Sampling (a process developed by Tektronix to allow their oscilloscopes to work at higher frequencies) to represent a more manageable time scale for the Laser time of flight measurement. This allows us hobby roboticists to use our existing processors (Arduino or Atmel, PIC, Propeller, etc...) to interface and take measurements from it.
Directly from the manual:
I am currently laying out a daughter card based on my exisiting I2C Atmel ATtiny84 Ultrasound Scanner. This daughter card will mount over the existing screw holes on the OSLRF01, will manage a pan servo, and provide 180 degrees of ranging data to your Robot or Autonomous Rover via I2C.
Future updates to this blog will document that process....
(Here is where you ask for features!)