Cheap IR LIDAR Lite (90$)

This is the LIDAR Lite, a compact high performance optical distance measurement sensor from PulsedLight. The LIDAR Lite is ideal when used in drone, robot, or unmanned vehicle situations where you need a reliable and powerful proximity sensor but don’t possess a lot of space. All you need to communicate with this sensor is a standard I2C or PWM interface and the LIDAR Lite, with its range of up to 40 meters, will be yours to command!

Each LIDAR Lite features an edge emitting, 905nm (75um, 1 watt, 4 mrad, 14mm optic), single stripe laser transmitter and a surface mount PIN, 3° FOV with 14mm optics receiver. The LIDAR Lite operates between 4.7 - 5.5VDC with a max of 6V DC and has a current consumption rate of <100mA at continuous operation. On top of everything else, the LIDAR Lite has an acquisition time of only 0.02 seconds or less and can be interface via I2C or PWM.

Note: The LIDAR Lite is designated as Class 1 during all procedures of operation, however operating the sensor without it’s optics or housing or making modifications to the housing can result in direct exposure to laser radiation and the risk of permanent eye damage.

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  • one more wonderful gadget for diy droners. I will surely order and try one. does the signal pins have to be optically isolated?

  • Developer


    Yes, an existing BEC should also be fine.  The critical bit is to separate the power supply to the LIDAR from the Pixhawk/APM.

  • T3

    I assume with the GPS interference issue, as long as you're using a separate BEC for servos in an airplane installation, you can just tie into that power as well correct or does this require yet another separate BEC? I already have a dedicated BEC specifically for servos that's not tied to the ESC so it would be nice to be able to tap into that.

  • Wow, it's finally out.

    I'll be picking one up in April or May.  can't wait to do some testing...

  • Thanks for sharing, I have ordered mine from SF.

  • Developer

    Yes, it's supported in AC3.2.  There are a couple of things to be careful of though, it very seriously interferes with the GPS unless a separate BEC is used to power it (as shown on the wiki).  Also we've found it needs a cap attached between the 5V and GND lines to reduce the interference.

    We've also recently found that it can cause little blips on the I2C line as it internally switches from a measuring mode to a communication mode.  We haven't noticed any inflight issues caused by these I2C glitches and we think these will be fixed in future version of the lidar.

    Despite the warnings above, there are a number of people on the dev team using them and there's nothing like it at this price.  Tridge uses it for improved landing on Plane.  A couple of people (Julien and Rob) are using them during the development of object avoidance for Copter.

  • I'm inspired... and so will my 3dr multicopter.. soon

  • I got one of these from the original crowdfunding campaign. I am not a developer but would like to put it to use on a multi-rotor. Has anyone written code for APM or Pixhawk that makes use of the Lidar?

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