Archive for March 28th, 2016

Low cost laser rangefinder that works outdoors

Monday, March 28th, 2016

laser distance with phone
Ever since the LidarLite went on indefinite backorder, we’ve been looking for a cheap and reliable alternative. Researchers from MIT and CSAIL are a couple months away from presenting this infrared depth sensing system using a cheap laser attached to a smartphone. They’re aiming big, with hopes to use this sensor for autonomous golf carts, wheelchairs, and drones.

“My group has been strongly pushing for a device-centric approach to smarter cities, versus today’s largely vehicle-centric or infrastructure-centric approach,” says Li-Shiuan Peh, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science whose group developed the system. “This is because phones have a more rapid upgrade-and-replacement cycle than vehicles. Cars are replaced in the timeframe of a decade, while phones are replaced every one or two years. This has led to drivers just using phone GPS today, as it works well, is pervasive, and stays up-to-date. I believe the device industry will increasingly drive the future of transportation.”