Our friends at Hizook have posted an excellent article detailing Neato Robotics’ new robot vacuum cleaner, and how its super cheap laser range finder could bring affordable and reliable SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) to hobby robots.
As you may be aware, hobby robots have been limited to using inexpensive and somewhat inadequate environmental sensors like IR and sonar because laser range finders by companies like Hokuyo are prohibitively expensive. Neato’s new vacuum cleaner comes with one that costs about $30 to produce. If you could buy one separately and attach it to your hobby robot, suddenly a whole new world of sensing capabilities becomes available, since most SLAM software uses LRFs to detect boundaries. So far Neato Robotics’ website doesn’t list the sensor for purchase, but with any luck they’ll see the hobby market as a profitable niche.
Read the whole article full of helpful diagrams and videos over at: