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What’s the Big Deal about Discrete Outputs on a 2-D Laser Scanner?

Posted by Colton Rentsch on Fri, Apr 15, 2016

What is a 2-D laser scanner?

A 2-D laser scanner consists of a light beam that’s rotated or fanned around a circular path in order to detect anything that is in the plane of the light beam. The light beam emitted will measure both the distance and the angle to the given object in the plane of view.

2D laser scanners for Monorails

Discrete output difference

A 2-D laser scanner that provides only measurement data can be an incredibly useful device, but because of the amount of data points provided and a steep learning curve, it can be more challenging to use. When a 2-D laser scanner is configured to give discrete outputs, the data collected is gathered and can be configured to associate certain areas within the given plane to a specific discrete output. These outputs allow the user to connect the scanner to a programmable logic controller (PLC) and use them to easily complete the tasks they require. The key to these discrete outputs is that the user can employ a PLC instead of having to create their own software to collect and interpret the given data before finally being able to receive the desired output signal.

Where and when?

2D laser scanner with discrete outputs

A 2-D laser scanner with discrete outputs can be used for basic tasks such as single field detection, or even more complex tasks. For example, the R2000 Detection laser scanner shown in the image above is preventing the monorail from traveling into the next monorail with its programmable fields. The programmable fields are doing a multitude of tasks all at one time. If the yellow field is entered, the PLC will receive the output and communicate to the engine to slow down the monorail. If an object were to enter the green field, the controller would receive the signal and stop the monorail completely. The blue and purple fields ensure that nothing is going to enter the path of the traveling cart from the side and would stop it if an object was detected in either field.

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Topics: Laser Sensors, Distance Sensors

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