DIY Laser Range Finder

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Hi all,
I've just posted a DIY laser range finder project based on BOSCH DLE50/40 laser range finder.

http://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

Two short project introductions about "how it works" were posted on youtube.
Part I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P...
Part IV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y...

Feel free to leave your comments/suggestion/proposals.

P.S.
Looking for a someone for project development...

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Thank you for such a stunning piece of reverse engineering.

How are you wanting to develop the project? Seems like you've done almost all the work!

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Obviously, ethics was not a unit taken by this guy at his university.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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also this does not seem like a finished project:

quote couple of quotes from the moderators:

Quote:
This forum is for documenting a COMPLETE project you have added to the project area.

If you have a project in progress, or a project looking for contributors, please post a thread in the AVR Forum to gain feedback.

I think the laser gotten back to him and reduces his eye sight.

Reverse engineering can be fun, and you can learn from it. I once reverse engineered a stupid toy and thus found a chip manufacturer that had exactly what I needed although searching the net on the functionality gave me 0 results.

Strange that he did not build his own laser range finder, that would have been a great project. even if he used the bosch housing ( i do that also sometimes. taks a housing from something and put my own 'garbage' in there ;)

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Kartman wrote:
Thank you for such a stunning piece of reverse engineering.

How are you wanting to develop the project? Seems like you've done almost all the work!

There are several obvious collateral functionalities that should be added like a LCD control, keyboard support etc.
Also, at now MCU calculates and return to a HOST sin and cos components only, calculating angle and a distance on MCU side might makes sense too.
Unfortunately, as always, further development assuming user manuals, dummy's guides and other documentation to make this project widely available for hobbyists.

In fact, the most preffered way I see is to employ this project in another one like a 3D scanners, 3D mapping, position localization, etc., but unfortunately I have no chances to do that alone.

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valusoft wrote:
Obviously, ethics was not a unit taken by this guy at his university.

Could you explain ?

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meslomp wrote:
also this does not seem like a finished project:

quote couple of quotes from the moderators:

Quote:
This forum is for documenting a COMPLETE project you have added to the project area.

If you have a project in progress, or a project looking for contributors, please post a thread in the AVR Forum to gain feedback.

I think the laser gotten back to him and reduces his eye sight.


The project is finished and now it can be used by others without firmware sources modification.
The project has a lot of room for further development indeed, but all others are strongly depends on project's specific.

meslomp wrote:

Strange that he did not build his own laser range finder, that would have been a great project. even if he used the bosch housing ( i do that also sometimes. taks a housing from something and put my own 'garbage' in there ;)

No chance (at least for me) make it smaller, cheaper, more robust, etc. Also, the most valuable part is not the housing, but a frequency synthesizer IC and APD. You can't just bought it in a store near to you. So, the only way for modification is a device tuning for a specific project.

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solit_lv wrote:
valusoft wrote:
Obviously, ethics was not a unit taken by this guy at his university.

Could you explain ?

I regard what I understand to be your proposal to be theft of the intellectual property belonging to Bosch. OK, be inquisitive about how something works, but having now obtained that and now invite others "for project development..." crosses the ethical boundary between being inquisitive and stealing ... in my opinion and the standards set by engineering institutes. Hopefully the argument can be settled outside a patent or copyright infringement case.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Ross!

What BIOS is your PC running? :wink:

"He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack, or sit beneath the tree by the railroad track. Oh the engineers would see him sitting in the shade, Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made. People passing by, they would stop and say, "Oh, my, what that little country boy could play!" [Chuck Berry]

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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Quote:

What BIOS is your PC running?

Presumably one that was written in a clean room?

If GM want to make cars they may buy a Ford and look at how it works and find that it's got a chassis with wheels at four corners. To make their own one along the same lines is fine if they create their own chassis design and connect the wheels to it in their own way. But if they take castings of every one of the Ford designed parts and mould their own to be identical that would surely be unethical?

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I disagree with the notion that there has been any theft from Bosch. There is nothing that is trade secret in this product apart from the firmware which has not been exposed. A laser rangefinder is not something you can build at home unless you've got access to a photonics lab. For Bosch to bring such a product to market at an accesable price is a revelation. I bought one just to pull it apart to see how it worked and how it was done for the price. Being able to hack it to customise opens up a range of hobbyist applications especially with robotics. Couple one of these with a scanner out of a laser printer and you have a 2D scanner with mm resolution. How many applications for contactless distance measurement can be devised? Solit lv has unlocked the door and once people get to play, Bosch will probably start selling more of their devices to a market they never thought of.

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Quote:

Solit lv has unlocked the door and once people get to play, Bosch will probably start selling more of their devices to a market they never thought of.

The key question is surely "will this sell more product for Bosch or will it encourage other unscrupulous manufacturers to make clone products and rob them of potential revenue?"

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There is a 'magic' chip in there that may be custom. This may slow down others from copyingthe product. From the hobbyist perspective, lets wait and see what eventuates.

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Just to close ethics question, my main thesis are as the following.

1) For industrial "cloners" repeat such device not an issue. All shared materials is only a question of $ n*10K.

2) For hobbyist, even assuming all parts are available, no chance to repeat all stuff and fits to $130USD budget (4 layers PCB, parts, assemble, aligned optics, LCD, keyboard, etc.). Thus, it much easier just buy BOSCH device and modify it.

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I have a Bosch PLR50 that looks near identical internally. In the Bosch scheme of things blue is professional and green is for home use. The PLR50 is green so it looks like they've just repackaged it.

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It is strange because a PLR50 is slightly expensive that DLE40. As far as I see DLE40 is more like a dust proof.

BTW, DLE40 that is positioned as a successor of DLE50, has exactly same schematics and PCB.

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I'm sure that all the details of the device are covered by patents and thus publicly available information. You can't steal information which has been published and it's not unethical to implement something you find in a patent.

It's up to the patent holder to police their own patents and to enforce them. It's their choice. Many companies patent to deliberately make technology open and free.

The only risk of using patent information and then trying to profit it from it is, well, obvious. ;)

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15-03-2011 LCD support added
Also, if someone interested in, the BOSCH patent was added to project files

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14/07/2077 CMD_LINE library is fixed in this project, as well as in standalone project "AV Laser Range Finder"