Servo "IRDAR" (mapping a plane)

After blowing out 2 motor drivers on the helicopter (but before realizing we didn't need them), Pushkar and I killed some time over winter break by throwing together a rig for a pet idea of his: mapping a plane by spinning cheapo IR range finder around with a servo. The setup is pretty simple: just control the servo with a PWM pin on the arduino, and poll the analog sensor over some range of angles (pulse widths). The raw data can be seen below. This is inherently in polar coordinates, since it was obtained by measuring distance at various angles. A couple lines of python can convert this to euclidean coordinates and produce a nice map of what the sensor saw. With some smaller servos and better rangers, we're hoping to mount this system on our helicopter for cheap and failsafe "vision". Code for all this can be found here.

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