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LiDAR: Unlocking the Science Fiction World of Tomorrow

Compared to Hollywood’s portrayal, life in the 21st century can feel a bit of a let-down. Where are the cities full of driverless cars? The hand-held lasers? The robotic killing machines who’ll stop at nothing to topple their human overlords? Ok, maybe not that last one… But perhaps these things are closer to being realised than we thought…   

Enter LiDAR, otherwise known as Light Detection and Ranging.    

If you’re thinking it sounds similar to “radar”, you’d be right. Radar works by sending out radio waves to bounce off distant objects, then calculating how far away they are based on how long the signal takes to come back. LiDAR does the same thing, only with laser beams, and can accurately measure to billionths of a second!

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