A few months ago I needed to create detailed bathymetric maps for a water utility with which I was doing research. Our usual approach is to use an old Windows XP laptop with a serial port to log data from our Garmin GPS/Depth sounder unit. On the laptop, we used sofware called UnderSee Explorer (formerly Contour3D) which as far as I can tell, is now completely out of business. Usually the lakes we do research on are quite small, and the battery life of our laptops (around a few hours) is not an issue.
Inspired by the ability to create scientific tech gadgets, I have two new toys on my desk these days: a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino. The simplicity of the Arduino is quite nice, but the ability to code the Raspberry Pi in Python (not to mention built-in Wi-Fi capability) drew me to do some experimenting with the infrared sensor. The problem I ran into almost immediately is that the out-of-the box solution to infrared remotes is lirc, which requires compilation and dedicating a pin specifically for the IR sensor for all time.