2018/03/16:Low-cost LIDARs!(1) RPLIDAR A2 vs Sweep

Key device for robots – LIDAR

Speaking of autonomous mobile robot’s key device, it is LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). This is a sensor that measures the distance to an object by emitting a laser beam (usually an infrared laser) to the surroundings to detect the reflected light hitting the object.

A commonly used product is a two-dimensional product that measures the distance from a sensor on a plane by rotating a single laser beam. For example, it is a product of SICK and Hokyo Electric .

SICK’s LIDAR products

URG series (Hokuyo Denki)

Originally in the study of mobile robots, LIDAR has been used to measure the environment to create maps and autonomous movements. Also, at the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge , Velodyne provided breakthrough 3D LIDAR solution, causing one breakthrough in automated driving vehicles.

Destructive innovation of LIDAR?

These LIDAR products were originally for industrial use, for example used in factory production equipment and safety equipment. Therefore, it has functions such as ruggedness and waterproofing, but on the other hand it is quite expensive. Regardless of the research and development work, it is not something that can be easily bought by an individual.

Recently, however, low price LIDARs have been on sale in general. Although it is insufficient in performance and reliability for industrial use, it provides sufficient and simple functions for hobby and research. Personal opinion, I think that it is possibly “destructive innovation” -like product and will be used for applications that we do not expect in the future.

This time, two of them,

RPLIDAR A2 (Slamtec 社)

Sweep (Scanse社)

I will introduce these two sensors while comparing them.