why can't I buy one of those and pick out the laser meter and then integrate it with my arduiono(do you think that even would be possible?).
Or is there anywhere I can buy that kind of laser distance meter without having to pick it out myself and figuring out which wire is doing what?
The difference in price between first and second links, is due difference in method of measurements. "Scanning" rangefinders, like a radars, outputs wide sector of distances, some of them gives a full 3D picture. Cheep one measure only distance to single spot/dot.Parallax sensor I only can see in first link , works as single dot device.Quotewhy can't I buy one of those and pick out the laser meter and then integrate it with my arduiono(do you think that even would be possible?). Try it. I'd be greatly impressed, if you succeeded.
It may work, though price of interface board is more than range finder itself. My guess, interface board software decodes LCD display messages, leaving laser sensor / processing out of the picture. Probably, there is no easy way to hack a core. Following their path, you even don't have to open range finder itself, just put a web-cam above and make video recognition from LSD display, I think it would be possible for $150 project budget, but I would not call it "integration".
homebrew - is an option. What you are suggesting with the serial communications system is certainly possible; I would see if the serial output is already in some TTL serial (5V or 3.3V) format, first (instead of going through a special interface cable). How fast you can make those measurements, though, would be a question to find out about.
I just want to use the arduino and not a computer to get the distance data. As far as I'm concerned arduino can't handle graphic data that well
Thanks for your reply cr0sh! You give a few options which sounds great but I'll think I'll go for the laser distance meter FLUX 411D and the onterface board I talked about earlier. I think the total cost for that "system" would be around 350 USD and I suppose it would work just as fine as the vaccum cleaner option if I attach it to a servo. I do also think it will work quite well in daylight as well, what do you think?
And while I'm writing I must ask you cr0sh, you wrote thisQuotehomebrew - is an option. What you are suggesting with the serial communications system is certainly possible; I would see if the serial output is already in some TTL serial (5V or 3.3V) format, first (instead of going through a special interface cable). How fast you can make those measurements, though, would be a question to find out about.what do you mean by TTL serial? in the interface board data sheet (http://porcupineelectronics.com/uploads/LR3_Data_Sheet.pdf) it says that the RX and TX uses 3V signaling. does that mean that I have to power the arduino in some special way?
I also have no clue, why this guys use 2D scan (using complex and high price mechanical hardware) for vacuum cleaner, when for simple obstacle avoidance you only need couple laser pointers ($2) and video cam (could be low as $10).
Okay so I have to use some kind of logic level converter ( like this one? https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8745) between arduino and the interface board?
I dont think skipping the interface board is an option for me because then I somehow have to decode the message the meter sends to the display.
but as they write on the Interface board website "I'm planning on using the LR3 with an embedded microcontroller, is there a more simple way to interface than using the USB port?The LR3 has a logic level serial port - see the LR3 data sheet (above) for details. You can connect +5V, Gnd, Rx, and Tx to the LR3 and easily interface the LR3 with Arduino, PIC, or any embedded processor that has a serial port. Note: The LR3's serial port is not a full 12V RS232 compatible interface. If you are interfacing the LR3 to a standard RS232 port, then you will need to use a MAX3232 type level shifter."So I dont have to go through the USB port, I can use the Tx and Rx connections on the interface board.
I'm thinking of putting the meter on a servo and measure the distance every degree or so and slowly build up a map. I now it wont be fast but thats okay, speed costs even more money
I'm doing something similar with my Canon DSLR and IR laser, in the dark. How does this work?It has a range of >100m!