Neato Robotics XV-11's Lidar Hacked!
December 1, 2010
A few days ago I put up $200 to the first person that could demonstrate a usable hack of the Neato Robotics XV-11 lidar unit. Consequently, the bounty was raised to $800 thanks to Trossen Robotics, RobotNV (Trossen Robotics forum member), and RobotShop. Well, the bounty has now been claimed by user Hash79 for demonstrating the robot outputting live distance data to a computer.
We now have access to a relatively inexpensive (it'll be even better if/when Neato releases replacement units at cost) lidar unit that gives 360 degrees of distance data out to 6 meters. It updates at 10 hz and has 1 degree accuracy. The protocol uses a simple serial link. You can find all about it on Xevel's Github page, along with Python code for decoding.
Big thanks to Trossen Robotics, RobotNV (Trossen forum member) and RobotShop for helping out with the bounty. There's still $200 outstanding to the first person that can demonstrate SLAM navigation using the unit, thanks to RoboDynamics.