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Our team is planning to go for European Rover Challenge (ERC) 2018 for which we are designing an Autonomous rover. In order to implement SLAM, we need a way of mapping (with a range of atleast 2-4 meters) for which we considered using a LIDAR or a stereo cam. Could anyone suggest a good, cheap and accurate enough LIDAR, Stereo cam or some other option by which we could achieve this?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Mark Booth May 28 at 9:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Is it for indoor or outdoor? 2D or 3D? What is the required accuracy in 6 sigma range? $\endgroup$ – C.O Park Apr 26 '18 at 4:46
  • $\begingroup$ Both actually, terrain may not be very detailed. We need a 3D point cloud but if you think for the above mentioned purpose, a 2D one would be enough then please do tell us. An accuracy of about a cm or less would be good. $\endgroup$ – Abhishek Dinesan Apr 26 '18 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ Your description is to broad. If you can not afford LIDAR, consider using structured light. BTW, is this ERC something to do w/automobiles? Your specified distances sound more appropriate for small robots. $\endgroup$ – st2000 Apr 26 '18 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ ERC is European Rover Challenge. By cheap I mean comparitively. $\endgroup$ – Abhishek Dinesan Apr 26 '18 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Robotics Abhishek Dinesan, but I'm afraid that shopping questions really aren't a good fit for a stack exchange site. We prefer practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Take a look at How to Ask and tour for more information on how stack exchange works, and the Robotics question checklist for details of how to write a good question. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth May 28 at 9:20
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There are now some sub and around ~1000USD 3D Lidars available. I wanted to provide an answer for future reference if anyone else comes looking for "cheap" Lidars.

A really good review on the Mid-40 can be find here. It also explains some of the challenges with the circular patterns, as some SLAM algorithms and fusing algorithms might needs to be adapted to this new pattern, thus not working out of the box.

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There is no cheap outdoor 3D LiDAR (as long as the definition of your "cheap" is under USD1000).

This might suit your purpose. There are low cost (USD100~500) 2D LiDARs. You may need to combine camera and LiDAR if you need to cope with pattern-less scenes or dark scenes.

By the way, a good engineer should not use terms such as "good, cheap, accurate" without explanation. Try to quantify your requirements next time.

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  • $\begingroup$ Will ZED cam or any stereo cam work for environments like say the ones at ERC, URC and all? $\endgroup$ – Abhishek Dinesan Apr 26 '18 at 6:57
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Depending on how wide your field of view needs to be, having two of those cameras can provide pretty satisfactory results for indoor mapping with the range you mentioned. An Odroid XU4 board has enough power to compute the pointclouds for two of those cameras which you would relay to your main computer (using ROS) where the computation of the 3d map is done.

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If you are looking for a cheap solid state Lidar for a Rover perhaps the Terabee TeraRanger Evo in the 8 x 60m configuration could work for you: TeraRanger Tower

This version can work outdoor within the range you are looking for and it costs €599 so about $ 670 usd

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