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Old 07-08-2016, 04:19 PM #1
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Default Distance Measuring Lasers

I am trying to solve a warehouse difficulty we have been having involving stocking product with our forklifts. I need a laser that can be attached to the outside of a forklift arm, and transmit a horizontal distance back up to a screen near the operator, either via a Raspberry Pi or simply direct to an LED screen. Preferably, it would work as a wireless device, to eliminate the problem of wiring. Does anyone know of anything that might fit my needs? I don't need anything very sensitive, but it needs to measure about four feet.


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Old 07-08-2016, 04:24 PM #2
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Default Re: Distance Measuring Lasers

You're looking for one of these: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/639

Laser rangefinders are usually intended for much longer distances, and they're unnecessarily expensive for this application.

If you see a handheld "laser" measuring device used for construction, it's actually one of the sonic devices with a laser to help orient the direction.
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Old 07-08-2016, 04:25 PM #3
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Default Re: Distance Measuring Lasers

Arduino based Distance Measure Box - All

Something like that - there are various projects out there that do the same thing. An ultrasonic rangefinder is going to be a better choice than a laser/LED rangefinder in this case.

Edit: Sta bet me to it.

Edit 2: No, Rivem beat me to it. Going to go finish my coffee now... Also, we need a text strike through option...
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Last edited by diachi; 07-08-2016 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 07-08-2016, 04:56 PM #4
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Default Re: Distance Measuring Lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by diachi View Post
Edit: Sta bet me to it.
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:03 PM #5
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Default Re: Distance Measuring Lasers

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Originally Posted by Rivem View Post

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Old 07-08-2016, 05:11 PM #6
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Default Re: Distance Measuring Lasers

Thank you! Are there sonic detectors that could hook up to a blue tooth? That would make it easily compatible to the Raspberry Pi
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:15 PM #7
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Default Re: Distance Measuring Lasers

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Originally Posted by stokos View Post
Thank you! Are there sonic detectors that could hook up to a blue tooth? That would make it easily compatible to the Raspberry Pi

I'm sure there's ways you could get that to work. There are bluetooth modules for the Arduino and lots of other wireless boards out there that you might be able to use too. Even some Arduino boards with built in bluetooth modules - and it's serial over bluetooth much of the time so that should be fairly easy to decode and display on the receiving end - be it a Raspberry Pi or another Arduino.

Could even use two of these: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardBT

Not my area of expertise so you'll need to figure that out yourself or wait until someone else here comes along. There are forums dedicated to these things though and much of this has already been done so the information is already there. Just gotta search for it!
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Last edited by diachi; 07-08-2016 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:12 PM #8
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Default Re: Distance Measuring Lasers

The product I linked outputs in RS232, so you'd just need a serial to bluetooth chip soldered up to it with a power supply if you wanted to do all the processing on the Raspberry Pi. Pretty strightforward and simple electronics project. No programming would be required on that side if you get a good BT board.

Edit: Diachi's linked setup will definitely require a second arduino with the built in bluetooth or something external. Much more programming and a bit more cost.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:20 PM #9
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Default Re: Distance Measuring Lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivem View Post
The product I linked outputs in RS232, so you'd just need a serial to bluetooth chip soldered up to it with a power supply if you wanted to do all the processing on the Raspberry Pi. Pretty strightforward and simple electronics project. No programming would be required on that side if you get a good BT board.

Edit: Diachi's linked setup will definitely require a second arduino with the built in bluetooth or something external. Much more programming and a bit more cost.

Yep - your way is the better way to do it for sure Far simpler and a good deal cheaper. Should be able to remotely read the output really easy with a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino using your suggested setup. I'd personally use an Arduino hooked up to a cheap LCD display to read and display the data, but to each their own!
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Last edited by diachi; 07-08-2016 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:06 AM #10
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Default Re: Distance Measuring Lasers

If you really want it wireless there are plenty of options to wire that up. Arduino's can be used with pretty small wifi modules linking it over the wifi network if there is one, but things like bluetooth, IR or 433 MHz ISM band signalling can also be used.

The 433 MHz option may seem a bit obsolete, but both transmitter and receiver units for arduino are really cheap (think $1 or less a piece). Range on them is okay too, i've linked them from my kitchen to office, 10-15 meters with about 4 walls to go through/around.
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