(if tl;dr, go to the part where it says "actual question")
this is probably a very obscure question, but: I'm working on a rather complex art installation with computer-generated sculptures, and I'm looking for a way to extract the "depth" information of their surfaces, in other words, how "jagged" is the surface at any given point. Surface deviation would be in the range of millimetres, up to a couple of cm.
I'm considering IR-based distance sensors such as Sharp GP2Y0A60SZLF, but I see two main issues with these:
- I can't tell exactly which point, or series of points, is currently being scanned.
- I can only get one value at a time, while being able to extract a sequence, or a "buffer" for a chosen line on the surface, would help me a lot.
The actual question: Could I in theory use a barcode scanner (either CCD or laser) to obtain a sequence of depth values for a particular part of the surface? The idea being, if the scanner measures the intensity of reflected rays, wouldn't that also tell me how far they must have travelled?
FYI, it's acceptable for me to hack the reader and bypass the MCU to simply obtain the raw data from the sensor.
Thanks a lot for any help!!