I have created this page to give mention to some news about sensors that have been released for robotics that you may want to look at for your next project.
First up and one of the sensors that has really impressed me is a new laser scanner. Laser scanners are devices that send out a laser beam then measure is some way the reflected beam this allows the robot to get a very accurate picture of the distance of objects surrounding it. What really sets the RPLIDAR apart from other competitors is the price for performance you get with the compact module. The RPLIDAR is set at a few dollars shy of 400 at the time of this writing and I can see it being a great leap forward for cost of these type of sensors. This jumps easily into the hobby price range of many. Other lasers range finders are north of 1,500 dollars for similar specs.
The RPLIDAR 360° Laser Scanner is a low cost 360 degree 2D scanner (LIDAR) solution. It preforms 360 degree laser scanning with more than 6 meters distance detection range. The produced 2D point cloud data can be used in mapping, localization (SLAM) and object/ environment modeling.
RPLIDAR emits a modulated infrared laser signal and the laser signal is then reflected by the object to be detected. The returning signal is sampled by vision acquisition in RPLIDAR and the DSP embedded in RPLIDAR starts processing the sample data, output distance value and angle value between the object and the RPLIDAR. Through processing the sample data is output through a communication interface.
- Omnidirectional laser scan
- User configurable scan rate via the motor PWM signal
- Plug & Play using included USB cable
- No coding job required
- SLAM ready
- 5.5hz (2000 sample/sec)
- 6 meters measurement range
- Obstacle avoidance, mapping localization, navigation sensor
Next up is a 3-axis accelerometer the nice thing about this sensor is two fold first it has a easy selectable range as well as analog inputs. On top of that they have thrown in a nice dedicated free-fall output pin. Many of today’s manufactures also seem to forget to throw down some nice mounting holes. Not so with this nice layout from AM3X. With a price point of 20 bucks its a good bet it will be in my next project.
- 3-axis accelerometer module with simple analog outputs
- Selectable +/-1.5g and +/-6g ranges
- Ideal for robotics projects, tilt sensors, vehicle dataloggers
- Easy to connect to an Arduino or compatible device
The AM3X ±6g 3-Axis Accelerometer is a 3-axis accelerometer module with simple analog outputs, selectable +/-1.5g and +/-6g ranges, a 3.3V voltage regulator, and a freefall (0g) detector output. Ideal for robotics projects, tilt sensors, vehicle dataloggers, and whatever else you can dream up. It has independent X, Y, and Z axis outputs ready to connect directly to analog inputs on an Arduino, and an onboard 3.3V regulator has been included, so that you can run it from either 5V or 3.3V. It even has a “zero g!” output to detect when the device is in free-fall, so you could connect that to an “interrupt” pin on an Arduino to have your project react immediately if it’s dropped. The module includes mounting holes suitable for M3 or 1/8″ bolts, and a flat rear face so you can easily glue it to any surface.