Robogaia IR RangeFinder
What it is?
The rangefinder is a tool that allows you to determine the distance to obstacles and walls in order to avoid them. It is perfect in robotic applications where the robot needs to move and go to a determined position in unknown territory.
We plan to launch the project on Kickstarter at the end of August 2014.
We already have a working prototype and we are in process of redesigning the board for the second version.
We wanted to create something cheaper and good enough for robotics.
Also it would be nice to interface with all kinds of hardware like Arduino, BeagleBoard, Raspberry Pi, or a laptop. Also we had our eyes to interfacing it with ROS (Robotic Operating System www.ros.org) if time is permitting.
detectable range: 200 mm to 1500 mm (7 to 60 inches )
7.5 degrees angular resolution
2 scans per second
180 degrees view
1.5 meter radius
easy readable output data in text format
easy interface with other boards
it comes pre calibrated
So far we have a C# API and graphical interface. We plan to develop a C and Python interface.
In the picture there is the graphical interface that is written in C# and allows showing and capturing range data .
How It works
It has two Range sensors that are oriented at 90 degrees. This allows the unit to scan twice as fast as if it would have had only one sensor. The sensors scan 25 points, twice a second.
In the picture it shows the light beams for the two sensors at a determined time.
The part is built in United States . All the plastic parts are built inhouse on our CNC machine.The only part that is bought from outside country is the barebone PCB board , which is populated inhouse. We have a reflow oven an plan to purchase a pick and place machine.
Who are we?
We are a small team of engineers from Cleveland and we like to tinker with stuff and work on all kinds of interesting projects. In the past we participated twice at Centennial Regolith Challenge, a competition organized by NASA and California Space Authority. This is where we came with the idea of creating a cheap obstacle detection unit. Since we payed all the costs for the robot, transportation, and the competition fee, we did not have a lot of money to spend and we lacked proper sensors. The obstacle detection units that are on the market today start at more than a thousand dollars, which we could not afford. Also Kinect would be great if it would work reliably in daylight.