Low-Cost Range Sensing for Laptop Robots

A. Davidson, B. Tribelhorn, T. Leung, and Z. Dodds (USA)


sonar, laser, rangefinder, vision, robotic sensors, lowcost robotics


This paper details the design, creation, and deployment of two low-cost range sensing devices for mobile robot plat forms. The first is a set of sonars individually mounted on servo motors. These sensors’ angular coverage allows for effective obstacle avoidance, but does not provide pre cise surface placement due to sonar’s well-understood con ical response window. An inexpensive laser range finder based on a web camera and servo-mounted laser pointer provides a much more precise, but narrower, proximity de tector. Taken together, this sensor suite cost less than $300, but demonstrated its considerable capabilities for reactive and deliberative spatial reasoning at the 2005 AAAI mo bile robot scavenger hunt competition.

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