Aldebaran documentation What's new in NAOqi 2.4.3?


NAOqi Sensors & LEDs - Overview | API | Tutorial

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What it does

ALLaser Module retrieves data sent by the Laser head (optional device) and stores it in an ALMemory key named: Device/Laser/Value.

How it works

This module is fully autonomous.

Laser resolution is 0.0063 rad (0.36 degree). This means 683 laser points.

Laser data is refreshed every 100ms.


  • Laser opening angle goes from -2.0923 rad to 2.0923 rad (240 degrees). The default opening angle is set to maximum. You can adjust opening angle with ALLaserProxy::setOpeningAngle method.
  • The hokuyo laser detection distance goes from 20 mm to 5600 mm. You can adjust these values with ALLaserProxy::setDetectingLength method.

Performance and Limitations



The electrical drive of the laser scanning produces a significant level of noise close to the front microphone, which reduces the robot voice recognition performance when the laser is active. We recommend that you switch off the laser if voice recognition is required.

Due to mass differences between a standard head and a laser head be careful when running:

  • the Choregraphe Walk box
  • the Choregraphe StandUp box


The fall hazard for these behaviors is high and could damage the laser head.

Getting started

Checking hardware

If you want to check if the laser module works or if you need to know the effective efficiency of the hokuyo product, you can run Laser monitor.

Data acquisition

To retrieve data, use a proxy to ALMemory and call the getData method with Device/Laser/Value as the parameter. If you are not familiar with this please consult getData function of ALMemory API.

The data stored in Device/Laser/Value is a 2 dimensional array, i by 4, where i is the index of measurement (maximum index i depends on the way we set ALLaser parameters).

For each index i :

  • urgdata[i][0]=> length
  • urgdata[i][1]=> angle
  • urgdata[i][2]=> x
  • urgdata[i][3]=> y
Data Meaning
Length and Angle

Obstacle position in polar coordinates.

Length: Distance between laser and obstacles

Angle: Computed value based on the index and urg device configuration

X and Y

Obstacle coordinates in Cartesian space.

x: abscissa

y: ordinate

Use Cases

Laser can be used for example to avoid obstacles or for SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping).


How to turn on/off laser?

It is possible to turn off the laser in order to free the cpu. The laserOff function of ALLaser turns off the laser light only, the motor will keep on turning.

How does the laser connect?

It connects via an URG-SCIP protocol on the USB-native (/dev/ttyACM0), then on the USB-serial (/dev/ttyUSB0). At the robot’s system start-up the URG device serial port is configured at 19200 baud or 115200 baud by laser_speed utility software, based on URG scip_handler library.

What version of URG is used in ALLaser?

URG official library 0.2. Available on the robot’s system:,,

Where can I find URG example

Source code available on the hokuyo web site.

Can I plug the laser directly into my PC?

Yes, if you want to do some tests with your own computer, you have an access to its mini USB connector on the right side of the laser. If you do so, you have to write the connection and retrieve data code on your own.