Low-Cost Range Sensing for Laptop Robots

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


sonar, laser, rangefinder, vision, robotic sensors, low-cost 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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