Smartphone Laser Sensor

“Smartphone LDS” is a laser distance sensor that was developed by employees of the American University with. It runs on hardware for under $ 50 and is suitable for outdoor use.

At the computer science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) of the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) was a new low-cost distance sensor developed for the operation in the open air. What is special is that it costs with $ 50 less than one percent of what manufacturers of such sensors usually require. Microsoft’s Kinect is also reasonably priced and can be used for 3D scanning, outdoor works but very limited. As soon as the sun goes up, the lights go out kinect.

System

In principle the laser distance meter works it like a 3D scanner, which uses the light section procedure: A line projected by a laser is absorbed by a camera with slightly different position; Objects taken by the laser distort and move parts of the line, which can be closed on their removal. What at the price of 50 dollars for the system by the not included with however, is the Smartphone without the distance sensor does not work. In principle, the procedure should work but also with any computer, if a camera is connected. Conceivably, a raspberry is PI with camera module. That would also have the advantage that such a computer could immediately take control of the laser.

Quality

The quality of the “Smartphone”LDS of mentioned system is affected by the camera used by their frame rate, dynamic range, and using a global shutter CMOS sensor. Also the computing power for image editing plays a role. Therefore, the accuracy of the distance sensor is higher, depending on the used Smartphone in the above points is better. Managed with a nexus to 5 researchers from the the system for an autonomous vehicle at up to 18,5 km/h for the distance measurement to avoid collision to be inserted with. They called above all the computing power of the Smartphone as a bottleneck.

Build?

Those who are more interested in the “Smartphone”LDS, will be pleased that the researchers have put online a paper to do so. Instructions on how to build it’s unfortunately not, but the most important theoretical basics are taught and referred to other sources. A little complicated is the whole thing already, but since the lasers with little power comes from, is also in this country possible in principle to a replica.

  • Paper PDF: Jason H. Gao, Li-Shiuan Peh, A smartphone-based laser distance sensor for outdoor environments, submitted to 2016 IEEE International Conference on

Robotics and automation.

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