It's teardown day at DIY Drones ;-) Sparkfun has a great one on the Neato Robotics robotics vacuum cleaner, which has a cool Lidar unit. From the post:
"Inside you can see the laser and the CMOS imager that the Lidar uses to detect distance to objects. The white paper on this device insists that it can be built for less than $30, but right now the laser can only be bought if it's inside the robot. Still $400 dollars is a low price for a device that does 1-degree accuracy planar scanning at 10Hz. There are four wires running to the laser assembly. Upon closer inspection, we see that these wires are soldered to pads on the board labeled "TX", "RX", "GND", and "VCC". So it's not exactly tough to figure out what communication protocol the device uses."
So far the Sparkfun team have gotten some basic info (see below) out of the device, but it's not fully hacked yet. But given that Robotox has offered a $800 prize for doing that, it's just a matter of time!