Laser Auto Leveler

Anyone known how the auto-levelers work? Any possible use to us in a robotics app (the leveling function, not the laser)? I've gotten one for
Christmas, and I'm champin' at the bit to pull it apart and see how it works, but if someone already has, maybe you can save me...
I have this one, but there are a bunch on the market http://www.blackanddecker.com/laserline/lasers.aspx
-Anthony
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On Mon, 03 Jan 2005 13:46:11 -0800, the renowned Anthony Martin

I 'ad a look at a Chinese one. It looks like the laser module is suspended by a flexible umbilical (with a locking knob for transport). It just hangs vertical by virtue of gravity; presumably the umbilical is flexible enough that the angle of the dangle wrt a perfectly vertical line is essentially zero.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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The umbilical method is pretty simple. My reasoning is they would do it pretty low tech and "keep it simple etc.". My first thought was having the laser float on top of a light clear oil reservoir, like a air bubble does in regular levelers. But then a better method would be to have the split beam prism flat on the oil reservoir, and simply shine the laser down into the prism, slitting the beam out both sides neatly. The oil would act like a dampener. By the same token, hanging a prism from a umbilical and doing the same thing would work too. Plus no oil reservoir to contend with.
I know everyone would be disappointed in the designers not using a MEMS based accelerometer, with a MCU controlling a geared down RC servo aiming a laser beam out the sides, but obviously that would be too expensive. But then maybe that $199.99 laser leveler does just that.
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