There's nothing like a little bounty to light a fire under a group of open source fanatics, is there? We saw this principle applied recently when Adafruit offered up cold, hard cash for an Open Source Kinect driver, and now one enterprising reader over at robotbox.net has gone and hacked the LIDAR unit on a Neato XV-11 robot vacuum -- and won $401 for the effort. What's this mean to you? Well, the gentleman (who goes by the nom de hack Hash79) can now read data sent from the optical ranging hardware on the vacuum to a PC. There has been a pretty enthusiastic group of hackers surrounding the device for a while now and now with a little hard work (and a $399 autonomous robot vacuum) you too can have a 360 degree scanning LIDAR with one degree accuracy and a 10Hz refresh rate. Pretty sweet, right? Video after the break.
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