60Ghz pulsed radar for distance and gesture sensing

SparkFun has announced a new breakout for a 60Ghz coherent pulsed radar.

Looks interesting!

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speed-detection at distances of up to two meters.

That’s baloney.

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Note that the full quote is:

(Emphasis added)

And why not?

60Ghz radar is not the same transmission media as ultrasound or laser.  It may well be able to do things that the others cannot do.

I, for one, don’t happen to own one so I cannot contradict without better information.

I would love to see someone buy this beastie and put it to the test.


Update: it also does I2C

I don’t see it listed on Dave’s or Carl’s Christmas list. (I tried explaining Santa doesn’t come to our house, but they insist on maintaining both simple and double linked lists.)


After Carl donated his ($30) IMU to Dave, and saw Dave also got a ($4) Grove Ultrasonic Ranger, Carl’s Christmas list first started being discussed!



Cool beanies!

Gets us away from SPI-hell, at least this once.


I think one of the reasons that “The Boss” doesn’t want me to go back to The States is Charlie’s Christmas list!

She’s afraid I will spend the cost of a couple of round-trip, first-class seats and need extra luggage to bring back all the stuff I want and cannot get over here!!

That’s not a problem.

The problem is when they generalize their lists into splay-trees.  (And discover Amazon’s URL.)


The ROS community is all a twitter about”Behavior Trees” to select appropriate actions for any situation. Luckily Dave isn’t smart enough yet to be climbing trees.


The problem with “Behavior Trees”, (or any tree-logic), is that, if not well designed, you end up looking like a monkey with coconut on your face.

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Well, in Dave’s case “A minion with a banana stuck in its throat”


$60 worth of why not!

I already can’t believe I paid $30 for a distance sensor that $4 would have been good enough. My first robot (Heathkit Hero) had the identical looking ultrasonic distance sensor forty years ago, so I thought “wow, laser diodes and speed of light timing,” I have to have this new distance sensor.

The DI DistanceSensor does have some advantages, but as a “bumper/skirt alternative” it is more expensive. On Dave, with a LIDAR of the same technology, it was $30 redundant, although I did have a dream of enabling a GoPiGo3 without ($80) LIDAR but with a ($12) servo mounted ($30) ToF Distance Sensor to navigate in the ROS world. Silly me, thinking cost was the reason people weren’t clamoring to use GoPiGo3 for ROS. ROS is just a “brain exploder.”

The $30 IMU is another smart sensor that could have been a waste for Carl, (it was a “sample”). That “clock-stretching” stuff gave Carl unpredicatable, unhandle-able “critical organ failure” (I2C bus). I spent months completely redesigning the software to expand the usability and reliability of the IMU. It does appear Dave will get a chance to determine if the IMU will be useful in short sessions eventually. (I don’t think any commercial IMU applications use I2C to communicate with the IMU, or if they do it is a dedicated bus at very high speed.)


That’s a good reason to avoid it, but I was wondering why you thought its claims were horse-pucky?

I have an “original” Jetson Nano that I thought would make Charlie the “GoPiGo from Hell!”, but, except for a short stint as a replacement desktop, it’s still in the box.

I bought a lot of embedded controller stuff from Adafruit, wanting to mess around with doo-hickies that program in python, have WiFi and Bluetooth, run off a wet napkin, and jump through hoops.

Even got myself a Circuit Playground Express to play with.

Never even plugged them in.

Sigh. . . .

So many projects, so little time.


Not that its claims are baloney, but that speed detection “up to two meters” is worth $59 to this community.


Now I wasn’t going to mention the big, bad, power-hungry and expensive LIDAR that Dave’s sportin’ there, but. . . .


BTW - the ($8-$30) pi camera can do speed detection at 30 meters. Two meters is still baloney.



How?  I’m happy if I get an image!


For anyone that tries this - time has passed and OpenCV changed:


Carl is holding out for a neuromorphic chip from Intel - Loihi 2



Hardware support for the latest in neuroses.  They’ll morph into full blown psychiatric disasters!  Fully open source crises!