I noticed in the robot rules that Class 1 lasers are permitted. Does anyone know of a relatively inexpensive laser rangefinder with a range of at least a few meters that has a class 1 laser?

I don’t know of such a device.

This article is worth reading. One of its conclusions is that, “in order to be effective, it is clear that a laser pointer has to use a laser above Class 1.”

As far as I know, this rule has been created to allow use of the Kinect on the robot. The IR beam that the Kinect emits is considered Class 1.

The Kinect can make for a good rangefinder, as can the new ping sensors :slight_smile:

But (correct me if i am wrong) the problems with using the kinect on the robot are…

1 - you would have to use a seperate, usb enabled sensor computer to at least stream the video to the cRIO


2 - because of the grid technology used by the kinect, the grids would overlap and corrupt the data

Do you mean these?

No need for a distance sensor. Use vision to determine the angle of the goal above horizontal. You now know the range from trig.


To use the Kinect, we would need another computer on the robot to process the Kinect USB data and send higher-level data to the cRIO via the ethernet network or serial. Also, two robots with Kinects would indeed interfere with each other.

Assuming the distance sensors are for finding the distance to the hoops, then the camera can be used. But what about finding the distance to the walls, or other autonomous robots? Just some hypothetical thoughts.