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Archive for the ‘lidar’ Category

Dolphins are not only amazing swimmers and extremely intelligent, but can also observe their surroundings using echolocation. While extremely useful in murky water, Andrew Thaler decided to make a device that would enable him to him observe his (normally dry) surroundings with a similar distance-indicating audio setup.

While he first considered using an ultrasonic sensor, he eventually settled on LiDAR for its increased range, and uses an Arduino to translate distance into a series of audio clicks. Sound is transferred to Thaler through bone conduction speakers, mimicking the way dolphins hear without external ears. 

He notes that while using the “DolphinView” headset is initially disorienting, he was eventually able correlate his surroundings with the system’s audio feedback. Arduino code and parts list is available on GitHub, and the mechanical frame design can be found on Thingiverse if you’d like to build your own!

On July 20th, 1969 man first set foot on the moon with the Apollo 11 mission, or so they say. If it was faked, or so the theory goes, one would think that there were a few details that don’t quite add up. One such theory is that the hatch on the lunar module isn’t actually large enough to allow a fully-suited up astronaut to enter and exit the module.

Rather than make assumptions, astrophotographer and hacker “AstronomyLive” took matters into his own hands and used a homemade LIDAR unit to measure the hatch of Lunar Module #9 at the Kennedy Space Center, as well as an Apollo spacesuit.

The Arduino-powered device aims the laser, and transmits this information to a tablet that also provides a convenient user interface. This data was then arranged as a point cloud, proving that… You can take a guess, or watch the video below to see his conclusion!

I used the Garmin LIDAR-Lite V3 along with a couple of metal geared servo motors to build a simple pan/tilt scanner, which pairs via Bluetooth to an Android app I built using MIT App Inventor 2 to control and receive data from the Arduino. It’s simple but effective. Although every tutorial I read suggested I couldn’t safely pull the voltage off the board for the motors, but I found that the vin pin gave me no problems, as long as I used a 5V 1.5A linear voltage regulator between the pin and the motors. I supplied 9V using AA batteries to the power jack on the Arduino. In the future I may upgrade the scanner by adding a small camera to grab RGB data for each point as it samples, and ideally I would change the whole thing to use a stepper motor for continuous spinning and scanning to generate a denser cloud.

What’s the best way to image a room? A picture? Hah — don’t be so old-fashioned! You want a LIDAR rig to scan the space and reconstruct it as a 3D point map in your computer.

Hot on the heels of [Saulius Lukse]’s scanning thermometer, he’s replaced the thermal camera on their pan/tilt setup with a time-of-flight (TOF) camera — a Garmin LIDAR — capable of 500 samples per second and end up scanning their room in a mere fifteen minutes. Position data is combined with the ranging information to produce a point cloud using Python. Open that file in a 3D manipulation program and you’ll be treated to a sight like this:

That’s an image generated of a 4.7 million point cloud. It’s not perfect, but it’ll certainly do.

[Lukse] laments that the camera requires ideal lighting conditions that make it unsuitable to for a lot of outdoor imaging and is similarly limited to shorter ranges. It also necessitates hauling a laptop around so he’s considering making it an all-in-one package down the road.

Want to more about how LIDAR works? Check out this teardown video of a police speed enforcement LIDAR ‘gun.’ Or have a look at this (faster) completely DIY laser scanner.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, laser hacks

The Robot Operating System (ROS) is typically associated with big robots but [Grassjelly] decided to prove differently by creating Linorobot. This small, differential drive robot is similar in appearance to many small Arduino based robots often used for line following. Linorobot packs a lot more computing power with a Teensy 3.1 connected to a Radxa Rock Pro. The Teensy handles the motors, reading their encoders, and acquisition of IMU data.

The Radxa, new to us here at Hackaday, is a single board computer based on the quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz CPU. It may not have been seen on our pages but if you’re at Hackaday Belgrade you can attend a session on building a cluster using it. The ability to run Linux is key to using ROS, which is an open source system for controlling robots. With the Radxa running ROS it interfaces directly to the Neato XV-11 Lidar’s dedicated controller board.

Avoiding the hand. Mapping with lidar.

The Linorobot packs into a small robot the capabilities usually seen in much larger and expensive robots such as the Turtlebot 2. With this diminutive robot hackers can learn about doing SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) and autonomous navigation, plus the other capabilities of ROS.

[Grassjelly] has a tutorial on building the robot which is also a good introduce to ROS. He provides the software as open source. It’s an impressive project which provides a small, comparatively affordable robot for learning and working with ROS. A video of Linorobot SLAMing and navigating [Grassjelly’s] lab is after the break.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, robots hacks

The Robot Operating System (ROS) is typically associated with big robots but [Grassjelly] decided to prove differently by creating Linorobot. This small, differential drive robot is similar in appearance to many small Arduino based robots often used for line following. Linorobot packs a lot more computing power with a Teensy 3.1 connected to a Radxa Rock Pro. The Teensy handles the motors, reading their encoders, and acquisition of IMU data.

The Radxa, new to us here at Hackaday, is a single board computer based on the quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz CPU. It may not have been seen on our pages but if you’re at Hackaday Belgrade you can attend a session on building a cluster using it. The ability to run Linux is key to using ROS, which is an open source system for controlling robots. With the Radxa running ROS it interfaces directly to the Neato XV-11 Lidar’s dedicated controller board.

Avoiding the hand. Mapping with lidar.

The Linorobot packs into a small robot the capabilities usually seen in much larger and expensive robots such as the Turtlebot 2. With this diminutive robot hackers can learn about doing SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) and autonomous navigation, plus the other capabilities of ROS.

[Grassjelly] has a tutorial on building the robot which is also a good introduce to ROS. He provides the software as open source. It’s an impressive project which provides a small, comparatively affordable robot for learning and working with ROS. A video of Linorobot SLAMing and navigating [Grassjelly’s] lab is after the break.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, robots hacks


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