We received our RPLIDAR this morning and, just as kids on Christmas day, we were very eager to play with it right away.

But I’ll hold my horses, as I can hear you ask: “and what exactly is a RPLIDAR?”

A RPLIDAR is a low cost LIDAR sensor (i.e., a light-based radar, a “laser scanner”) from Robo Peak suitable for indoor robotic applications. Basically a cheaper version of that weird rotating thing you see on top of the Google self-driving cars. You can use it for collision avoidance and for the robot to quickly figure out what’s around it.

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