LIDAR Lite Development

Sparkfun had a link to an interesting article about supporting the development of LIDAR-Lite:

Rather pricey but if it can provide better scanning capability over the ultrasonic sensors it might be fun to use. Any one heard about this?

 3/14/14 Pi Day Update

After successfully reaching their first goal, a  stretch goal is now on. Here is a quick summary:

If you back the project at $79 you get one LIDAR-Lite and at $145 you get two.

If they meet the stretch goal the current model using an LED light source gets upgrated to a version with a laser, making it  qualified LIDAR. All backers will get the upgraded model.

A few specs to go on from the company:

1.We replace the LED in LIDAR-Lite with a Laser.  This makes the current 1.5° beam shrink to <1/2°.  The smaller more collimated beam gives the sensor greater sensitivity and performance.

2.To offset the added cost of the laser we install smaller optics (12.7mm instead of the existing 23mm) into a simpler housing.  This makes LIDAR-Lite lighter and smaller, 19mm wide X 20mm tall X 44mm long instead of 30mm wide X 39mm tall X 51mm long.

3.We do eye-safety certification.

What are the benefits of doing this?

Well, it’s still a 40m sensor, but now instead of 40m being the maximum range, it will be better than 40m under typical operating conditions. Just to explain; the smaller optics, save money and allow us to install a laser.  However, the smaller aperture does reduce the maximum operating range, so it’s not the 100m sensor it could be with larger 23mm optics.  But, you will get better performance under more operating conditions within the full 40m range window of the sensor.  And it gets lighter and smaller to boot!

The company has said before that this sensor will measure down to a distance of zero and I'm going to be asking if that will still be the case with the laser version.

A bit misleading

For a LIDAR without a laser the name is a bit misleading. That does of course not mean that it couldn’t be a great sensor, but from the information available it didn’t convince me that I need one.

True, it isn’t exactly

True,  it isn’t exactly LIDAR.  What interested me was update rate of up to 100 hz and how that could help Vader with room or object mapping.  Have to crunch some math to compare Sharp IR, ultrasonic and this new technology.  Given say a 2 second scan of 60 degrees, which device would return the higher resolution image.  For the image I am imagining a coke can in front of a slanted wall or maybe a corner if a room.  OddBot had been working on this for OB1 using ultrasonic and IR. 

Good news! The crowd

Good news!  The crowd funding campaign for this sensor was a success.  Not only the that, but the company is looking at a stretch goal that would result in the supporters getting a laser based version,  instead of Led, for the same cost.  Check it out!

Actual LIDAR for $100USD…  just saying…  :wink:


Yeah, I hear ya. The LIDAR

Yeah, I hear ya. The LIDAR Lite appealed to me because of it’s small size/weight, comparable to the SR04 Ultrasonic, and without a laser (initially) it was more kid friendly. The LIDAR Lite is to come ready to plug and play, but I acknowledge that you’ve come a long way in blazing a trail  for use of your LIDAR. Having all these options is a good problem to have. :slight_smile:

**I must admit I do like the size/weight of the LIDAR Lite **

Definately a plus if you need to lift it on a UAV.  I’d be curious to try one when they become available.



The stretch goal is on. Here

Moved comments to a forum Update. See Above.