Obstacle Detection

Obstacle detection is the use of sensors and software to identify obstacles around the robot. Obstacle detection plays a critical role in preventing collisions, mapping/SLAM, and generating information used by navigation and path planning algorithms.

Simple application: a robot reads output from a front-mounted IR or ultrasonic distance sensor to detect obstacles in front of itself and uses this information to stop before a collision happens.

Complex application: a robot uses a 3D lidar to scan its surroundings and passes the generated point cloud to a SLAM algorithm to update a map of its environment.

Sensor selection is a complex topic and depends on many factors and considerations.

List of Commonly Used Sensors

Infrared (IR) Distance Sensor

Ultrasonic Distance Sensor

Contact Switch

1D Lidar

2D Lidar

3D Lidar


Depth Camera