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This is the LIDAR Lite, a compact high performance optical distance measurement sensor from PulsedLight. The LIDAR Lite is ideal when used in drone, robot, or unmanned vehicle situations where you need a reliable and powerful proximity sensor but don't possess a lot of space. All you need to communicate with this sensor is a standard I2C or PWM interface and the LIDAR Lite, with its range of up to 40 meters, will be yours to command!
Each LIDAR Lite features an edge emitting, 905nm (75um, 1 watt, 4 mrad, 14mm optic), single stripe laser transmitter and a surface mount PIN, 3° FOV with 14mm optics receiver. The LIDAR Lite operates between 4.7 - 5.5VDC with a max of 6V DC and has a current consumption rate of <100mA at continuous operation. On top of everything else, the LIDAR Lite has an acquisition time of only 0.02 seconds or less and can be interfaced via I2C or PWM.
Note: The LIDAR Lite is designated as Class 1 during all procedures of operation, however operating the sensor without its optics or housing or making modifications to the housing can result in direct exposure to laser radiation and the risk of permanent eye damage. Direct eye contact should be avoided and under no circumstances should you ever stare straight into the emitter.
This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.
Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Based on 13 ratings:
5 of 5 found this helpful:
I've been dabbling for over a year now trying to measure distance from 0 feet (with a 5 foot offset) to something over 30 feet. I have tried a variety of ultrasonic sensors and a fancy light ranging device from Canada.
This product is light, well documented and performs so beautifully that I now have expectations of ranging from 0 to 100 feet as I fly over the ground.
I would like separately colored wires rather than just red but that is on the wired connector which they supply and I can replace that myself if it annoys me too much and, too be completely unreasonable, I would like the option of purchasing an aerodynamic casing.
I am very happy with this purchase.
4 of 4 found this helpful:
Students at the Colorado School of Mines are using the LIDAR Lite on a rover that will compete at the NASA Robotic Mining Competition in May 2015. It has a combination of distance and accuracy that you don't see with other distance measurement devices. It's easy to use and integrates nicely with standard hardware/software interfaces. We're really liking it. It quickly became the range finding device of choice over a couple other options we were evaluating.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I played with this great little gadget,mounted it on a pan-tilt attached to an Arduino and managed to make a room scan showing depth map... Unit performs good but I have to note a small issue of measurement readings a little beyond stated limits... The problem may be servo noise from pan-tilt... The guys at Pulsed Light are cooperative and we are trying to find the cause... Details of my project at: http://myrobotlab.org/content/lidar-lite-distance-measurement-and-creating-point-cloud
6 of 6 found this helpful:
I've played around with ultrasonic distance sensors but this device is quite significantly better; better response time and much better range, in my case up to 35 meters outdoors to trees, grass, sidewalk etc. You can't assume every ranging pulse will be accurate, but most of them are. If you want range to an object for under $100 this is the best solution I've found. I have not had the I2C lockup some reported (EDIT: at first...) but I do have extra capacitance on the +5V power (10 uF + 0.1 uF).
EDIT: It works OK if you allow 20 msec or more between reads. BUT, if you want to run this sensor at the maximum data rate, be prepared for what appear to be some hardware bugs in the device causing I2C SDA-low glitches, and/or lockup with the LIDAR-LITE holding SDA low permanently. See also: https://forum.pjrc.com/threads/28036-Translating-Lidar-Lite-I2C-example-to-Teensy?p=70237&viewfull=1#post70237
EDIT2: if you are using this at longer ranges, eg. outdoors (> 5 meters) be aware that the output is not just one laser beam direct out the lens. On my device at least, there are two much fainter, less-focused secondary beams going out about 30 degrees from the main axis, from some internal reflection I suppose. This has no effect EXCEPT if you put the device in an enclosure where these beams can bounce around inside, you will get spurious readings from 10-40 cm when the true range is around 25 meters. You can fix this by adding a black tube around the output beam and/or detector to conduct the optical path outside the enclosure and block the high-angle secondary beams from reaching the detector. Example photo: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/diAx1HgTlYxuR_hh1AMNIdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
I also made a 3D-printable shield tube: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:769066
1 of 1 found this helpful:
It works really well. Frequency around 50 hz and 1cm of precision of distance mesure. Just a little instability when i make a static mesure. I presume that is a problème on my arduino mini and not on the sensor. Thanks to Sparkfun seven days to obtain the sensor that's really a nice service.
2 of 2 found this helpful:
The product is very accurate, I have it cooked up to a Leonardo shield and wifi shield with SD card. No problem powering the whole works and coding it was simple if you can do basic searches.
As for comments made by another on shipping. I live in Canada I ordered from Spark fun, paid for it. Got my email about the order, I then I got a "shipped" and tracking was provided the entire time, I could watch the status. I paid for Fedex overnight - though I asked it only be delivered Monday to Friday at the office, it arrived through customs so quick it was on my desk Monday morning . Any shipping issues like are a result of the order placer than spark fun in many years I have never had an issue with them - issues with Canadian suppliers in Toronto -yes .
The staff at sparkfun also answered any question I had within in hours and I am very happy with them,
Comments to the Lidar the cables could use a bit better gauge my wire strippers did not go that low but I managed all the same.
Anyone having an issue with this product is not being self reliant and is expecting too much of others. You place an order and you pick cheap shipping you get what you get and that's your issue not spark funs.
3 of 3 found this helpful:
This module seems to have pretty good performance, if you avoid trying to communicate over I2C while it's busy making a measurement. Plan on waiting 20 ms, and don't try to use the I2C bus during that time!
If you try using the ACK/NAK feature to detect the moment it's finished, there are a lot of I2C communication bugs. It will pulse the SDA line low for several microseconds for no apparent reason, disrupting communication. If another query is done too quickly after a NAK, it will get stuck with the SDA line low, where the only way to recover seems to be cycling the power. A delay after reading the data, before starting another measurement is also needed, otherwise it will give a copy of the previous reading, or zero.
If you use simple delays and avoid I2C communication during those delay time, it's easy to use and works really well.
1 of 2 found this helpful:
Maybe is not totally true, but till now it is great fun tinkering apps.... Till now I am not convinced that its range is 40 meters.
Been trying to get working with APM and Pixhawk as rangefinder for above ground altitude and would tend to just lock up..
A PWM workaround has been developed and wonder if a firmware update will soon be available.
Hi, Sorry for the troubles. I may recommend contacting us at techsupport @ sparkfun.com we may be able to assist you. If we can't, we can point you in the right direction for more assistance from the manufacture. Thanks
The LIDAR Lite blew all of my previous ultrasonic rangefinders out of the water. With a range of 40 meters, my 2 meter ultrasonic sensors seemed wimpy. I used my LIDAR Lite in a autonomous, room mapping robot. This was one of my best buys from Sparkfun!
Just got it up and running using C# with a Netduino plus2 breadboarded to the Lidar. Some occasional problems with I2C not working at startup but retrying seems to work. Getting good readings from cm to c.14m indoors through a doorway. Next step is to wire it up properly and build some mechanicals to adapt it to my robot's servo platform so I can build a room map. Only a couple of gripes. One is the cable that comes with it that consists of one red wire and the remainder coloured various shades of black. Second issue is the zero point for the measurements on the sensor. It's not the front of the unit... or the back. It does at least seem to be a constant offset somewhere inside the device so it can be factored in to close-up measurements. Overall though, a nice device at a reasonable cost.
This pruduct is amazing it is very accurate and easy to use plus the tecnology behind of this lidar is sick. However keep in mind that the cable is very hard to find and if it breaks like mine you might have to wait like a week to get a new one
First Lidar trials on the table, interfaced with Bus-Pirate, was quite disappointing : spending a lot of time to get the two range bytes in only one I2C call. Recently, I found the solution : call with the MSB of first data address set to 1 (0x8F). To reach the maximum rating that I wish, I have to connect the Lidar with the UDB5, using the PWM interface. I hope reaching 40 Hz sample rate. Lets see soon in real world environment!