Sparkfun hacking challenge: turn a laser tape measure into Lidar

From Sparkfun, a $100 prize if you can decrypt the serial output from a commercial laser tape measure so it can be possibly hacked into a sensor useful for robots: 

"This tutorial, "Laser Tape Measure Hacking," comes from SparkFun CEO Nate Seidle (aka, El Queso Grande). Nate was intrigued by the idea that if he could hack a laser tape measure, it could be used in autonomous vehicles, 3D scanning, or any number of other applications. So Nate set out to hack the device. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to wrangle the serial controls and hit a wall. That's where you come in."





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Comment by Dimitar Kolev on November 10, 2011 at 12:47pm

Thanks to the moderator for editing my boring copy and poste post - it is looking better now.

Here is another two devices - "doppler speedmeters" - How wheels radar gun - and pocket radar which are just asking for such serial hacking :-)

Comment by YureZzZ on November 11, 2011 at 12:20am

'm willing to hack that thing - but are they providing such device or I have to buy one myself? My postage rates will be much bigger than the device itself =(


LCD hacking can be done - but it is not the best way, believe me - I've tried it once on Bosch laser ruler - it is so messy. Better to hack serial.

Comment by Russkel on November 11, 2011 at 3:23am
So if it has encrypted serial output, what is actually reading and decrypting it? Is it software? The software could likely be reversed...
Comment by Dimitar Kolev on November 11, 2011 at 5:05am

Yes Kamu, likely does not mean easily :-)

Comment by Dean Lamborn on November 15, 2011 at 8:35pm

Or you could just buy one with RS232 output. Ok, it is $539.

Optilogic Laser Range Finder with RS232


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