There were a lot of cool gadgets in this summer’s Prometheus. Bug-eyed dayglow helmets that can read other people’s dreams, 3D holograms, androids, and even the ship were all really cool pieces of future technology that dazzled, but the one bit of tech that popped off of the screen with its coolness had to be the “pups”, an automated LIDAR device that flew through the alien structure mapping it autonomously. Well now one engineer is looking to recreate something similar for around $99.
According to ParabolicArc, Nadir Bagaveyev, an employee at XCOR Aerospace, is making the LIDAR project in his own time at a new facility located at the spaceport in Mojave. Bagaveyev’s goal is to make an inexpensive LIDAR system that can be purchased and used by any individual or school who needs a portable LIDAR device. LIDAR maps areas by bouncing lasers off of their surfaces and calculating the return time for each pulse of light. Bagaveyev’s version of this technology will have a system that works by calculating angles and distances of the objects it scans in space by using the camera position as a point of reference.
The $99 LIDAR project has already met and excedded its funding goal of $2,400 with 15 days left for additional fund raising. If you are so inclined, there is still time for you to pony up $300 for the top support level and get your very own portable LIDAR system once development is finished.
With all the amazing things being funded through Kickstarter these days, we may get a Mattel Hoverboard by 2015 after all.