Sunday, August 1

What is LiDAR technology and how can I use it? Digital Trends Spanish

You’ve probably heard this term when talking about high-end cell phones, but exactly whatwhat is LiDAR technology? While it has been around for years, it is now more affordable and accessible than ever; That is why we are seeing it appear in a variety of professional applications and is even part of a smart home. Here’s what you need to know, where it’s headed, and what products you can expect to see it in.

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What is LiDAR technology

LiDAR stands for Light Detection tond Ranging, a term similar to radar (Rait gave Detection tond Ranging, in English). While radar uses radio waves and receivers, LiDAR uses light. A LiDAR system is generally made up of three important parts:

  • To be– The laser sends out precisely generated pulses of light. As you may recall from science class, light bounces – at least some wavelengths are reflected by almost all materials. These pulses of light are designed to be reflected when they encounter some type of material.
  • Scanner– The scanner is calibrated to detect the return light pulses produced by the laser after they have been reflected off objects.
  • GPS receiver– The receiver calculates exactly how much light traveled based on the position of the LiDAR instrument, allowing very, very accurate mapping of a space and the position of objects.
  • In addition to these components, LiDAR can also be divided into two important types of applications, topographic and bathymetric:
  • TopographicThese LIDAR systems are designed to map terrain and open space and typically use wavelengths close to the infrared part of the light spectrum.
  • Bathymetric– These systems are designed to measure underwater landscapes, such as river beds or the ocean floor, and use a type of green light that easily passes through the water (this is why the water also has a greenish tint to the nature).

LiDAR was developed as a powerful alternative to radar with a variety of applications. It can be useful in environments where radar doesn’t perform as well, offers more accurate measurements than radar, and is generally more versatile.

What is LiDAR used for today?

LiDAR can be used both in the air in drones or other planes and on the ground in trucks or stationary platforms. If something on the ground is being professionally measured, especially with regards to distance, it is most likely LiDAR. Specific uses include:

  • Coast scan: LiDAR is used to update similar coastal and landscape maps with more accurate information. It is useful for all types of mapping, but is particularly well suited for measuring the often complex details of a coastline and tracking events such as erosion, flooding, and almost any type of physical variation.
  • Vehicles: LiDAR in cars can help to map the surrounding spaces, which is very useful for autonomous cars and related applications. Interestingly, Tesla is one of the few brands that still doesn’t use it for its autonomous cars (apparently Elon Musk isn’t a fan), but it is testing some sensors for future apps. You can also find the technology in the vehicles that NASA is designing to explore the Moon and Mars.
  • Creation of 3D models– Architects and construction companies use LiDAR to measure spaces and build models that can be used to plan new projects or modifications. This can also be very useful for creating visual effects for movies, shows, and video games.
  • Measurements– Measurements to draw property lines and boundaries must be very precise. LiDAR is very useful for this process, as it excels at measuring distances.
  • iPhone: Did you know that your iPhone and iPad also have LIDAR? Help the application Measures be more accurate with the objects being measured.

Wait, what does LiDAR have to do with smart homes?

Logitech Circle View smart security camera placed on a shelf to learn what LiDAR technology is

While we’ve been talking about LiDAR as an outdoor technology, it’s important to note that the smaller versions can be used indoors as well, leading us to smart home applications.

Because LiDAR can measure distance so quickly, it’s useful on any device you need to keep track of measurements in a room, where furniture is, and even where people are and how they move through a space. .

LiDAR has some advantages over a traditional camera or motion sensor as it is less error prone and can work in a wide variety of weather conditions, making it a potential technology for smart security cameras as well.

What could be a flaw can be turned into an advantage, as it is also limited when it comes to capturing and detecting faces, making it a possible privacy-friendly alternative to traditional cameras.

What home devices use LIDAR?

Samsung's robot vacuum cleaner with LiDAR.

LiDAR is a fairly new entrant to the smart home world, so the number of indoor devices using it is still limited. However, some current and interesting examples include:

Robotic vacuum cleaners– While popular Roombas don’t use LIDAR to map a room (yet), some robotic vacuums do. An example is the Samsung JetBot 90 AI +, which uses LiDAR to detect the surrounding area up to 20 feet, detecting spaces and objects for better navigation.

You can easily detect if your device is using a LiDAR sensor due to the circular bump that hides the rotating sensor inside. More importantly, LIDAR technology is helping robotic vacuums to be more efficient with cleaning.

Household sensors for the elderly: In 2019, IBM Research ran a pilot project that installed LiDAR systems in the houses of the elderly. The goal was to see how well it worked as an alert system to detect falls and walking problems without being overly invasive. If this application works, we could begin to use LIDAR in assisted living facilities, as well as in renovations of aging in place.

Security systems: LiDAR is already being used in professional and home security systems as the model Leica BLK247, which are useful for monitoring crowded spaces, tracking complex landscapes, and even measuring social distancing. As LiDAR becomes even more affordable, we may see it appear in more smart security systems.

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