Connected Objects
Sweep eyes an opportunity for affordable LIDAR sensors

LIDAR sensor technology is being used in a growing number of products. For example, these sensors serve as the eyes of self-driving car, enabling them to detect other objects on the road. LIDAR scanners are sold on their own, but they tend to be too pricey for the average consumer, sometimes coming in at more than $1,000.

Sweep is an inexpensive scanning LIDAR sensor for consumer applications including high school robotics projects. digital art and drones. It can also be used to get the dimensions of a room much faster than it would take when using a tape measure. It can also be used to detect when somebody walks through a doorway or tries to touch something they shouldn’t. Sweep uses sensing technology that differs from most other LIDAR sensors on the market –- a technique that enables it to use lower power components to perform long-range measurements.

According to its creators, Sweep is the first commercial scanning LIDAR sensor that uses the technology. The product’s scanning capabilities enable users to adjust the rotation speed on the fly so they can slow it down for more detail or speed it up for fast reaction times. Sweep ships in November at $250. But early bird Kickstarter backers can get it for a pledge starting at $199. Its makers hope to raise $230,000 by April 11.

There are many potential applications for Sweep, so independent app makers may make up a large segment of its potential audience, along with students and schools.

 

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