Lightware SF45 Lidar For Drone Or Rover – Ardupilot Rover Demo.
Unfortunately, at the point of recording, i hadnt noticed that my rode wireless go had changed his settings and it was only when i got to post that i could hear that something wasnt right. There is nothing more. I can do about it at this point in time, but i did want to make you guys aware of it up front before you guys mentioned it in the comments anyway. Lets get on with the video and lets take a look at what this is all about. Today were going to be taking a look at this little box here and whats contained in this little box is an sf45 scanning lidar. If you dont know what that is, it is a small scanning lidar from lightweight that is designed to be used in robotics drones and any application where you need a small lightweight scanning lidar to do things like object, sensing and object avoidance or anything else that you Might need a small lidar for in todays video were going to take a closer look at the device itself. Walk you through some of its features and capabilities. Show you it in action both on the software that they supply, as well as setting it up on autopilot. On the bench and then at the end ill show you some video of this in use just before we jump into taking a closer look. I just want to say, if youre interested in getting yourself one of these or anything else for your drone or aircraft theyre available from 3dxr in the uk.
They very kindly lent us this one to be able to make this video and, if youre, after anything, for your ultrapilot, build or anything to build yourself a plane or drone. Please do check them out because they stock everything from the cube autopilot through to healing and things like these lidars as well anyway. Lets take a closer look at the device itself and then ill walk you through some of its features and capabilities and then lets take a look at it in use. Okay, so, first of all, taking a look at what you get when you open the box, you get a little card inside which asks you about registering the warranty and theres a qr code on that and asking you to register it within seven days. We have a usb cable for connecting it up to our computer for updating the firmware as well as using it with the software. We have some fixings, which are the fixings for able to bolt the device down. We have our connection cables for whatever we want to connect it to, because weve got a usb as well as sort of uarts and i2c on the bottom as well and thats the cable for that and then obviously in the box, we have the actual lidar itself. Now this is a scanning lidar, so, as i said, it has the ability to rotate and actually scan the area that you want to actually sense any objects in looking around.
We obviously have our lasers up here on the back. There is a micro, usb port and then on the bottom. Youve got that connection port with that harness for the i o for connecting it up to your device. Taking a closer look at the spec, the device weighs 59 grams and is 51 by 48 by 44. Mil in size, it has a range of up to 50 meters on the lidar and a measurement rate of 50 hertz to 5 000 hertz. The device is capable of scanning from 20 degrees to 320 degrees on the rotation and has an adjustable sweep speed of up to five sweeps per second power wise. It supports 4.5 volt to 5.5 volt and uses about 300 milliamps of current and io wise. It has a serial and i2c input alongside that micro usb. The next thing were going to do is get this connected up to usb and walk you through some of the features of the software thats available. Now this you can download from lightweights website and it allows you to test the device and demonstrate it and check its doing what it should be doing before i do this, though, i need to put this box between this and the camera, because there is the possibility That the laser on this could damage the sensor on my camera. So unfortunately, im gon na have to put that there and im gon na try and use the overhead to show you whats going on, rather than actually show it on the main camera, because i dont want to destroy my sensor.
Basically, so what were going to do is plug in the usb port into the lidar itself, were then going to plug the usb in and wait for it to kick in and then hopping over to the desktop. So on the software you can see that it has now picked up that the light lightwave is detected so im going to click enter this and in here we can do the configuration we can upgrade the firmware, but we can also see the scanning output as well. So via the app weve got the info screen, which tells us about the device itself. Weve then got the upgrade. The external and internal firmware, which is the module as well as the scanning part and youve, then got the scan output, and this will actually give us a graphical representation of what the lidar is actually seeing right now. So, for instance, if i zoom in you can see, this is what it is actually picking up in the room at this moment in time. So, for instance, if i just put my our hands around the lidar and scroll in, you will see that it cups around, and that is actually the points that are being picked up. As my hands are cupped around it, and then you can see how close they are, as i move them in closer literally, my hands are right around it now and you can see all the points and then, if i put my hands out further, you can see That extend out as well just to show you that on the overhead, so ive got my hands like that or i can move my hands out and that changes how its represented on the screen as well.
If i just take my hands away, you can see its now scanning out to the rest of the room, but its not really showing much at this moment in time and thats, because weve only got it set at a low level of points. What we can do is go down here and set the points, so, for instance, we can go drop it right down to that which is 50 or right up to 5 000. That gives much more accuracy within the data in the sense of its far more points. Being transmitted and picked up compared to what we had before and again, if i cut my hands around it, you can see now thats a very different look compared to going full out. We can then increase or decrease the speed as well. So, for instance, were on five. I could set it down to 20 if i wanted to, and that would slow the speed of the lidar right down. As you can see there again putting you on the overhead, you can see it turning there and it is much slower than it was just now and then going back to the desktop view. You can see it scanning again there and, if i just let it scan right out, you can see its picking up everything, and what this here is this bit here is the actual box being picked up, that ive got between it and the camera, so, for instance, If i move that out a bit further, you can see that it moves or if i move it in closer, it will moving closer to the lidar as well and again, if i set it back to five youll, see the speed increase and that will change what Its actually picking up now at the moment, im sitting right next to the lidar, and what you can see here is actually me that is my body being detected by the unit.
If i now move out away from it, you can see that actually extend out im. Just going backwards backwards backwards and you can see that then extend away from the lidar itself and whilst its still picking me up, because im actually still before the wall, you can see that it is actually moving away. And if i now stand up and move around to the side – and you can see me shifting around or if i move over to this side, you can see on the lidar display that im actually affecting it. And then, if i come and stand right in front of it, you can see that it moves right in and you can see that it is being affected there as its doing the scanning and again you can see me scrolling in as i come in close and If i just cut my hands around it now you can see if i scroll in a lot closer, you can see thats my hands, theyre being cupped and then ive moved them away and its scanned out now in here isnt the best environment, to demonstrate this in Use what ive been able to show? You is some of the points being picked up and everything. However, this isnt the best place it needs to be in an environment where its able to scan out and really show objects changing compared to a room like this, which is cluttered with stuff everywhere. What im going to do now is hop it onto an autopilot and just show you it on mission planner to show you what you can also see on that and then well take a look at a video of it in use on audra pilot, with the guys, Showing you the kind of stuff that you can do with a device like this okay, so just to show you this on autopilot emission planner ive currently got the lidar connected to a cube orange.
I know its gold, but it is a cube. Orange spec and ive got ultra pilot installed and ive got the lidar connected on uart too. Just to show you on the overhead, you can see that the uart is plugged into number two and the lidar is connected and its on some temporary wiring. Basically, at the moment, but its all plugged in connected as it should be now to set these up, you need to follow the instructions that is listed on the autopilot website and they do have a specific page for this lidar already. You can see its the lightweight sf45 and weve got everything here listed, so it shows us the wiring that we need as well as the settings for our relevant serial port. I have got it on serial 2, so my serial 2 protocol is 11. Serial 2 board. Is 115 and then ive set everything else as it needs to be. If we hop over to mission planner, we are connected on the autopilot and if i control f and click on this and click on proximity, you can see the proximity display has kicked in and if i just make it bigger, you can see that it is connected And working and it is actually detecting the objects and me as the lidar is moving around now, if i just actually move in front of the lidar a second. So what im going to do is rotate the lidar, so it is now actually in the right direction.
So were in front of me is in front of the lidar, so ive just done that, and it is now detecting this top part here as the furthest part of the room. And if i now move my hand in front of that, youll see that that will be detected. As i move my hand closer, and you can see that the its now detecting something there. And if i move my hand away, you can see that its come right out and thats what its detecting and again, if i move further back, you can see what it is. Sensing is completely changed, so its got a much bigger feel for the room than it had before, and this is what allows it then to actually detect the objects, whilst using it in autopilot emission planner. Next, im going to show you this lidar out and about ive, set it up on my underpilot based rover and im using this on a cube black on ardrew rover and then ive got that connected up to a healing ground station. That allows me to do the communication and telemetry okay, so im just out and about with the rover and ive got it set up over there and im just going to demonstrate the lidar in action. Now ive got basic object, avoidance setup, which is scanning, and i dont know if you can quite see it from there, but the little lidar is rotating on the top. Now, what im going to just show? You is some of its behavior when i use it.
So the first thing im going to do is walk towards it. So if i just walk towards the rover, youll see that it will begin to detect me and itll actually start backing up automatically because ive come within the range of the lidar holding the remote out to the side and its not doing anything. And if i move out the way it will actually then stop now, if i bring it forward and start actually bringing it towards me, and if i stop here, you will see, the rover will actually come to a stop itself and it wont. Let me bring any further: it actually backs up a little bit and again. If i step out of the way im holding the throttle forward, you can see that it is moving and then, if i walk into the path youll see, it will actually back up automatically away from me to try and maintain the distance. Now ive set it to two meters so again, if i walk towards it, itll try to maintain that two meters distance at all times with it detecting me now. If i move to the side, it is still two meters. So if i move to the side, i actually let me just come over here – im, not quite sure how much im in view there. Let me just come back over here, but again, if i just take come out of the range and walk again towards it, youll see the rover will actually begin to move away to keep that two meters distance and again as i pass it will then allow me To continue to drive it forward from there now, if i just come back over to here again, you can see im standing here, bringing it towards me and its again now stopped and pushed itself backwards because it doesnt want me to be in the way and again, If i walk towards it, you can see that and if i walk to the side, because im within that range itll actually speed up and move away from me quite fast.
But again, if i go around the back of it just moving around here, you saw it actually moved away from me because im at the side im within the range that is picking up its wanting to keep me at that two meters distance. So i can actually walk with it and it will just continue to keep moving to keep me out of the range. And if i come to the side, its trying to decide which way to go and if i actually go stay there, it suddenly changes direction and moves backwards out of the way hop around here and again, im into the side its coming back towards. If i suddenly go, you know what no im going to go there. It moves away. So it is very, very clever in the sense of how the autopilot object system picks it up, but not only that how that lidar is then used and whether it be copter or rover application. It allows you to do some really really cool stuff and then youve got the advanced features in autopilot like bendy ruler and the others when youre using it on a mission. Just to show you this in action in real world conditions. Randy one of the underpilot devs has a video on this and it is the same lidar setup. So if i hit play and youll actually see it doing the object avoidance here on the copter, as you can see, he was flying it towards the hedge and you can see that its picking it up and it just wont, fly any further if youve used object.
Avoidance on any other systems, its exactly the same, and it is simply choosing to stop before it actually hits the object as hes flying it towards the trees again its one of those things. You can see that its rotating on the bottom of the light are they just below the frame. You can see that its located just by there and thats it actually doing the sensing and then what hes going to do is get in front of it and start waving. Things around, i think, is what he does now. You can see hes walking towards it with an object and the copter is actually moving away, as it actually picks up the stick being shown to the aircraft and again hes walking towards it its detecting the object and then moving the copter out of the way and Again, this lidar means it can do that and scan it around it, and not just in front of it. So again, hes moved to the side and its again picking that up and moving away as well, rather than it just doing it like on a fixed slider with it being around the front. So it does open up a whole world of possibilities and this isnt vision based sensing. This is lidar base sensing, so it does have better performance in some ways, because it is definitely picking up objects rather than having to actually sense the object through vision system and then trying determined if its an issue or not, whereas with the lidar its just like A black and white decision – yes, theres, something there yes react to it via the autopilot software, and that is pretty much it for this video as youve seen.
These are extremely interesting sensors. There is a whole world of things that you can do with these that i have not touched on today. You can do all sorts around object: sensing object, avoidance and theres more and more features being put into ardupilot all of the time for sensors like this. If you are interested in getting yourself a lidar on one of these devices, please do check out 3dxrs website ill put a link to them in the description these are available from them, but you can also get anything else. You need as well big. Thank you to ben at 3dxr for lending us this one. This was very interesting to take a look at ive, been playing with it in the workshop and a little bit out and about as well and theres some real cool stuff. With these, too, i would love to get one of these permanently on the rover, however, here and now that isnt possible, but lets just see how things develop in the future anyway, thats it from me. If you found this video interesting, please do consider hitting the subscribe button. Dont forget to hit the little bell next to it as well. If youre interested in supporting the channel, there are links to our patreon as well as buy me a coffee and if you have any questions or anything else, do put them in the comment section or come over and check out my discord, server and ill.
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