Joe Grand of Grand Idea Studio has released the code and complete design files for his open source Laser Position Sensor (LPS) project. The project is based on the Freescale MC9S08JM8CLC and several Linear Technology LT1491ACS op amps. (Despite the references to Parallax in the LPS project documentation, this device is an open source project that is not commercially produced.)
The Laser Position Sensor (LPS) module is an optical sensor that measures and provides the two-dimensional coordinates of visible red laser light (630-694nm) shined onto its surface. The LPS has a resolution of 0.0001″, an accuracy of 0.001″, and a measurement range of +/-0.2″ (+/-5mm). Applications include positioning and alignment, long-range beam-break/security trip wires, remote device control, data communications, and high-speed photography.
To give some idea of what goes into the design of a project of similar complexity, Joe has chronicled his efforts in designing a separate device, the Laser Range Finder, in this project development diary on the Parallax forum.