Laser Measurement System Object For Max

Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) instruments provide a fast and accurate way to track objects in 2 dimensions. V2_Lab's v2_max.sick.lms100 object for Max5 makes the SICK's Laser Measurement System LIDAR available inside this popular media programming environment.

LIDAR operating principle

A laser rangefinder is a device which uses a laser beam to determine the distance to a reflective object. SICK's Laser Measurement System (LMS) range of devices combines infrared laser rangefinder with a mechanically moving mirror and special optics to implement a LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) – an optical remote sensing instrument that measures properties of scattered light to find range and/or other information of a distant target.

LIDARs from SICK were used in artistic context in the past: in installations Run Motherfucker Run by Marnix de Nijs, Probe by Boris Debackere and in V2_Lab's 3D scanner (where rotating the device around the axis perpendicular to its scanning axis allows to build a 3D scan of its surroundings, see Exercise in Immersion 4.1). In these application a custom software was used to communicate with the device and perform some scan data processing (such as background / foreground segmentation and blob detection).

V2_Lab has developed a Max5 external object that provides a simple interface to the Laser Measurement System from Max5 programming environment. The object allows configuring operating mode of the device and passes in scan data as lists of numbers. To inspire the users the example patch demonstrates simple background / foreground segmentation and blob detection.

At the moment the object supports a single model of SICK's LIDARs – LMS100, but we hope to add support for other models with time. (In fact, it probably supports the outdoor counterpart of the LMS100LMS111, although we haven't tested it)

LMS100 has the following technical characteristics:

  • scanning angle: 270°, 20m (65ft)
  • angular resolution: 1/2° or 1/4°
  • 25 or 50 scans per second
  • size (HxWxD): 15x10x10cm (6x4.2x4.2in)
  • weight: 1.1kg (2.4lb)

Downloads: Binary distribution v1.0 (for Intel Macs only!). The source code of the object along with help and example patches are available at If you have questions, comments and suggestions, contact the object developer - Artm Baguinski.

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