Multiple similar distance sensor use for Obstacle Avoidance and Approach
October 30, 2013
Related to my post this weekend about Robot Size and Methods of Obstacle Avoidance but not limited to larger robots, does anyone's experience with use of multiple distance sensors (either US or IR) support concurrent use or alternatively suggest that the complications caused by their installation, interference with eachother and programming are not worth their addition? If the detection threshold is greater than the distance from the front extremis to the wheelbase center on a differential drive, how often does a robot get "boxed in" to vestibules or peninsulas of obstacles? What about when the use of the sensor become for approach-ie, when you want the machine to stop at a given distance from a target for a reason other than avoiding it (like delivering a beer or confronting an intruder?) Is you answer different when the sensors are for ledge detection?
What about orientation and number for multiple sensors? If you have two sensors each at offset 45º to the plane of travel, do you gain anything with a third facing forward? Is the proper orientation for 3 at 90º intervals? What works best for various footprint shapes?