Sensors Midwest 2018: Learn, Live, and Love LiDAR

(GEOspatial MEDIA)

By now it is no longer a secret or market speculation that vehicles, robots, and small flying craft such as drones will operate autonomously and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology will be the most likely choice for safely guiding these machines through their travels. Simply described, LiDAR is a method of measuring the distance between two objects by shining an invisible laser light on the external object and using sensor technology to measure the reflected light. It’s like ultrasound or sonar whereby audio frequencies are emitted and when they are reflected off a target object, a system measures the time of the reflections and translates those times into distances. One difference is that LiDAR uses light instead of audio frequencies, and it’s also less than arguable to say that LiDAR for the aforementioned applications is more accurate and reliable.


Not to get ahead of the curve, LiDAR is far from a mature technology and much needs to be learned on how it works, how to make it as foolproof as possible, and how to integrate it properly into new designs. Although LiDAR is very good at determining if an object is in its path, it does not exactly know what the object is: a bird, a plane, superman? This will be crucial in creating autonomous vehicles that truly respond as humans do.


In addition to the LiDAR hardware, an embedded system consisting of a processor and software will most likely be doing all the terrain and object analysis. Knowing how to integrate the two and which software and operating system use for maximum safety and security can be a bit daunting. If you are involved with autonomous applications and need a leg up in getting started, there’s a resource you need to take advantage of. At Sensors Midwest 2018, on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 from 3:00 pm to 3:50 pm, you can attend the session titled, “Using LiDAR in Embedded Linux Devices” in Theater 2, hosted by Golden Gate Research Inc.


The session will be presented by co-founder of Golden Gate Research, Merlin Friesen. LiDAR is a key emerging object detection technology finding use in drones, robots and self-driving automobiles. This session gives an overview of LiDAR technology, describes how it is used for object detection, and gives hands-on real-world examples of interfacing and using LiDAR in embedded Linux devices.


Merlin Friesen is a Co-Founder of Golden Gate Research Inc., a Silicon Valley Design Services company specializing in embedded Linux product development and consulting. He is currently developing industrial object detection applications using LiDAR and is a frequent speaker at embedded-system conferences.


If you are ready learn, love, and live LiDAR, you’re therefore ready to do those two very simple things:

  1. Register for Sensors Midwest 2018.
  2. Attend the “Using LiDAR in Embedded Linux Devices” session, Wednesday, October 17, 2018 from 3:00 pm to 3:50 pm.

Also, checkout the conference schedule for related sessions and the exhibitor lineup for presentations of the latest sensors and sensor-related products plus a plethora of other technologies.