Sweep, a Scanning LIDAR-Light Detection And Ranging Campain You Can Crowdfund Today

Sweep Scanning LiDAR 360 degree on a drone!

The Sweep is a plotting technology that measures space by illuminating a target with a laser. The light weight, 360 degrees operating and the affordable price makes it functional in many different areas. It is built using Sculpteo 3D printing technology and with the ability to make high resolution maps you get applications in atmospheric physics, geography, archeology, forestry and many more!

And of course you can put it on your drone…:)

Sweep lidar on a flying drone

Now see what the inventor has to say and go get your own and Crowdfund this campaign!

How did you come up with this idea and what made you “go for it”?

We have been working on scanning LiDAR solutions for several years. We started off developing outdoor consumer robots for the home. To do any kind of mapping, scanning LiDAR or something like it is required. When they discovered that there were no affordable LiDAR sensors on the market that could work outdoors, they set out to make one themselves.

I can see many implementation areas for the Sweep, for instance for firefighter drones in burning buildings with low visibility. Can Sweep operate in smoky environments? What other usages do you see?

Sweep uses infrared light to sense its surrounding, which does a good job of penetrating fog and some smoke.  What makes Sweep more capable than most LiDAR sensors is the filtering technique it uses to differentiate returning pulses from noise, much like a checksum. This allows it to work well in fully sunlit environments, or next to other sensors using similar wavelength light.  Sweep can be an excellent navigation sensor in almost any vehicle.  From ground robots, to boats to small planes, sweep can provide a better understanding of the surroundings and warn of approaching obstacles.

In your Kickstarter video you are using a Raspberry Pi and their 3:rd version is coming out soon, will that enhance the experience of Sweep?

The Raspberry Pi 2 has no problem running our example projects. That being said, having more processing power is always helpful if you’re running additional programs concurrently.

And if everything goes according to plan, what’s your ultimate vision??

We’re targeting the initial release of Sweep toward early adopters and developers looking to try out the technology.  As we get more insight from our customers about their specific applications, we will refine future versions of Sweep to meet the demand.  Likely areas of improvement include additional internal data filtering modes, more compact packaging, faster update rates, longer ranging capability and more environmental hardening. The ultimate goal of Sweep is to empower new and existing applications with a smart and affordable scanning LiDAR solution.

Give us 3 tips from what you have learned on your way to other technology entrepreneurs?

Number one is make sure you start advertising for your campaign 1-2 months early.  It takes time for news agencies to write articles and reviewers to test your product.

Second is if you are making a hardware product, make sure you have your supply chain mapped out before the campaign.  This means getting quotes for predicted quantities of every last item going into your product, as well as assembly costs.  A miscalculation of the product’s part costs will sink any project.

Finally, find a message for your campaign that resonates with your target audience.  A good message about what it is you’re trying to accomplish can go a long way toward selling your product.

Finally, tell us: why should your project get funded?

Making scanning LiDAR more affordable and as a result more accessible has been our goal from the beginning. We’ve gone a step further by doing more than just lowering the cost, we’ve made the sensor itself smarter by processing data internally and outputting more useful and application specific data. We strongly believe that Sweep will enable many exciting new applications that weren’t possible before because of cost or processing requirements.

So, go get your own Sweep and support this tech Kickstarter project!

Thank You Kent Williams inventor of Sweep at Scanse.io for taking the time and the great tips to other tech inventors out there!