As the project moves towards becoming open source, I am posting two part video explaining the concept behind how lidar works. This will help those, who want to create own solutions or improve on mine. Here is a first part.
I am completely swamped with rockets. So I decided to open source this project.
http://bagaveev.ucoz.com/load/lidar_design_document/1-1-0-4 Here you can find 1 page explanation of an algorithm that makes lidar work.
Source code will follow shortly.
If I missed one or two of you sending a lidar, please, send me a private message with your address.
I've been working on a case for a LIDAR for last couple of months. My friend and a supporter Ryan Graf gave me an idea to switch to lasercut ABS to decrease price dramatically, and kindly agreed to cut several of those until it worked. I also had several attempts to power laser from the same source as a Pi, until found 5v 2.1A adapter called "Amazon Basics". This requires to add voltage regulator to change 5v to 3.3v so laser doesn't overheat and burn after a minute or so.
While on holidays I work on switching from red laser to green laser, since it seems brighter to eyes and a camera with the same power consumption.
Once development is complete, assembling and sending few lidars will be quick. I assume that to happen in mid-January. Also, DARPA got interested in supporting the project. If that happens, all the code and how-tos will be posted online for any school and university and anyone else to use and iterate on.
Currently I'm busy designing a new case and writing a proposal to turn this into a commercial product. New printed case prototype should be coming soon in mail. But, of course it will have to be injection molded to be inexpensive. I'm holding out on shipping few lidars cause I want to introduce a new case. If you want to partner on developing this as a business, I'm in search of a seed capital.