Lidar Sensor Recomendations

Is there a popular Lidar sensor that people like to use? Obivously I’m sure there are some outrageous expensive ones, but curious if anyone has any recommendations

Are you talking about simple laser rangefinding, or are you talking about 3D mapping? I see people interchange the term Lidar for both.

For the 1D short range case, PWF’s CAN Time-Of-Flight sensor is probably my favorite. LIDAR-Lite is another common option, though I don’t think there’s built-in wpilib support.

In my experience, these have limited application measuring robot-to-field-element distances. The reason is the usage of polycarb - we’ve had some bad luck trying to get consistent readings using lidar alone.

What do you hope to accomplish with the Lidar?

For 1D long range, adding a second mention of the Garmin LIDAR-Lite v3. It works well for the right application. Clear polycarb is not a usable reflective surface, limiting many FRC applications. I think the beam divergence spec is something like 8 millirad, which is high for LIDAR, but is really narrow at the range on an FRC field. For small targets, you’ve got to be pointing right at them.

Rev Robotics markets a very low-cost, very short range LIDAR. I haven’t used one of these, but it might be interesting to try for applications that would be overkill for a Garmin.

TOF cameras are the new rage. Instead of 1 receiver, they have a QVGA or SVG sensor chip to receive the pulses. It’s allot of data to process and each company has there own eco system and firmware. Might look at the just released Intel real sense camera. Many of these system are out of range of FRC costs. Many are in range.

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Some of these look pretty interesting, but I have not used any of them: Laser Radar Selection Guide (Part 1). If it were me, I’d try mounting these at the height of the metal bars on the sides of the field. If anyone has tried/tries these, I’m sure folks here would be interested to know how it goes. Things are moving pretty fast in this space…

If you want something long range but 1D then the Lasershark is a good option. It has a really nice, easy to use vendordep that will make programming it more pleasant.