LIDAR-Lite and measuring reflectivity of targets

Related to this topic.
So it is possible to measure the reflective intensity of a certain object? What sort of data is output when measuring the reflectivity of an object?

Hi @podracerhere! Welcome to the RobotShop community.

There is no direct way to measure the reflective intensity of an object to the IR signal sent by the LIDAR-Lite using that object. This value - AFAIK - is never exposed directly though the available interface of the sensor (I2C or PWM).

That being said, you could potentially do some basic IR reflectivity tests by using a pair of devices (emitter and receiver) using a similar wavelength (LIDAR-Lite uses a nominal wavelength of ~905 nm). Using such devices and proper circuity (effectively an active sensor) could help you identify some of the IR properties of object at (and around) that wavelength.

Then again, you can probably find details of such tests for many materials/surfaces online and in scientific literature.


Hello again, i have been reading online about using LiDAR to make 2d black and white images using reflective intensity measured by the sensor. I am curios to know if the LIDAR-Lite is capable of doing this. I am not quite sure what type of data the sensor would put out to achieve this! I know this is a time of flight sensor used to measure distance but can its output data be used to create these black and white images? In essence, is there a way to measure the return strength of the laser being beamed back? I am a super beginner with all this and i really really appreciate the help!


As mentioned above, the values you need are not do not seem to be exposed through the device’s interface. Therefore, what you propose would not be possible with the LIDAR-Lite in the way you describe it.

That being said, the return strength is typically proportional to the distance (and surface type) so you can still create a grayscale image of what is scanned (using the LIDAR-Lite in a 3D scanner setup) by using the distance returned for each “pixel” (measurement) instead of direct light/signal intensity.

This effectively would be creating a point cloud from your scan and projecting the result on a 2D plane (image) where the pixels color represents the distance (and indirectly the intensity).