We recently released our autonomous cooler video on the youtube channel. The cooler follows you by streaming GPS coordinates from your smart phone and comparing them to it's own location to determine what direction to move. For a future project, we want to extend this code to create a fully autonomous RC car. Our plan is to use some more advanced technologies like LIDAR and computer vision to navigate more accurately.
In my search for LIDAR modules, I found an interesting kickstarter project which aims to make LIDAR sensors more accessible. The module, called Sweep, has a built in 360 degree panning capability. At a $349.00 price point, that's an amazing feature.
With a range of 40 meters and 1000 samples/second, Sweep boasts some pretty impressive specs. The team at Scanse also built out a bunch of libraries for a few of the major consumer level single-chip boards. They're not on sale yet, but preorders have already begun. You can check out more details on their website.