Laser Tracker

Idea: create a construction level (1/16" accuracy at 30 feet) laser tracking machine.


  • Laser tracking
  • Accurate azimuth and rotation

Low end variant:

  • Use stepper motors and a limit switch for drives.
  • Use a webcam to track the laser target (corner cube)
  • Small RF trigger handle.

Mid variant:

  • Add encoders (magnetic?) to axes for feedback.
  • Use a 2D PMD to center the laser light correctly.

Components (may not be used for all variants):

  • Hacked laser tape measure
  • slip rings
  • anti-backlash gears
  • Austria Microsystems magnetic encoder hardware
  • 2 way Peltier block
  • Steppers and drivers
  • Webcam or similar for spot tracking.
  • PMD and support electronics
  • Use a mini Linux board (Olimex brand?) to do any complex calculations onboard and provide an Ethernet interface to a primary contorl computer.

Laser types
Time of flight
Phase difference

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