Using laser reflectivity for navigation markers

The Neato Botvac uses reflectivity of reflective tape on it’s charging station to locate it. To do this they record the intensity of the return on the laser distance sensor, and analyse the returns.

Is this possible to do for time of flight lidar detectors?
The ROS1 Neato nodes written by Fergs captures the return data, but I don’t think anyone has written any code using this. I am interested if anyone has pursued this, and would like to hear your comments.

If you have the intensity data it’s definitely possible to do. I think there was a SICK product that used reflectors and a LIDAR to localize.

At a past job we also used a planar lidar and reflective tape to find a docking station. IIRC the reflective tape also changed the depth measurement. The lidar data said the reflective tape was a few centimeters closer to the robot than the non-reflective part with some of the lidars we were using, but in reality they were both the same distance.


When Developing TurtBot 3, I used Lidar’s reflective value to move to a fixed parking place.
I think the following the video and manuals will help you.

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