Optical EngineeringLow-cost three-dimensional vision system based on a low-power semiconductor laser rangefinder and a single scanning mirror
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Machine vision systems based on direct laser rangefinders are an interesting option for applications demanding high lateral and radial resolution, along with the capability to operate under varying illumination conditions. Furthermore, as outdoor applications such as collision avoidance or smart highways automated navigation appear, the interest of direct laser rangefinders for machine vision will rise, since they do not present the limitations commonly found in intensity based vision systems. We present a 3-D vision system designed around a direct laser rangefinder (which we also developed). Although initially conceived for short-range indoor applications, the system is designed so that it can be easily adapted to longer range outdoor operation. The main features of this system are its high-speed optomechanical scanner, based in a single scanning mirror, and its direct interface to the industry standard architecture (ISA) bus, which enables the system to operate in any PC- based application.