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Open Hardware scanning laser rangefinder.
Its parameters:

  • 5 scans/second
  • 180 measurements per rotation (2 deg anglular resolution)
  • Maximum distance - 4 m
  • Measured accuracy ~3-5 cm at 3 m (depends upon the color of reflecting surface).

This device is really cheap - its components cost less than $30.
UPD from 2023: Cost of the image sensor TSL1401CL increased very mush, so total price can be higher!
See "TotalBOM" with price calculations.

Now I'm updating the documentation for this LIDAR.
Some of it I'm writing to the project wiki:

Please take the simple survey about assembling instructions

Alt text

Utility for displaying "radar" scans from the working Lidar:
Alt text

Example of Hector SLAM working with this Lidar:
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This Lidar is using triangulation method for measuring distance to objects. It can be shown by this picture:
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Some modeled pictures of the assembled Lidar can be found here:

Some more info:

Video of using OpenSimpleLidar for Autonomous Robot Navigation:

See also my previous LIDAR project:
If you need LIDAR with increased speed and range, see this project:

Please leave your feedback if you will be able to build this Lidar - I need more feedback about assembing instructions.