I had planned that my next article would be part two of the series on line following (part one is here), however a new sensor from a company call PULSEDLIGHT (http://pulsedlight3d.com/) caught my attention. Basically this sensor (the LIDAR-Lite) provides a relatively low cost laser based range finder that provides centimetre resolution with a maximum distance of up to 40m and a sample rate of around 50Hz. The sensor uses an i2c interface and is relatively compact. It seemed to me that if I could make it talk to the EV3 and arrange some sort of rotating mechanism then it could be used as the basis of a low cost LIDAR sensor.
The actual sensor is shown above. I will post more details of the device in a follow up article. To get things working I’ve had to rework the leJOS low level i2c code and I built 3 versions of a rotating scanner before coming up with one I was happy with. But for now here is a video clip of some initial testing, this thing is very cool!