The new LIDAR Lite sensor now available at Garmin offers high-performance distance sensing at a fraction of the cost of comparable sensors.
Lidar Lite has a range of up to 40 meters, and features a low-cost implementation of time-of-flight algorithms used in expensive LIDAR systems like those used with the Google Car. The LIDAR-Lite uses an I2C communications interface, which allows multiple modules to be connected as slaves to a common communications bus, and draws only 100 milliamps of power.
Kauai Labs has ordered one of these units and will be developing a prototype 2D scanner which can measure 360 degrees of distance and SNR, designed for use in FIRST robotics to enable localization. Stay tuned for more developments, we’ll be posting details as they emerge.