Let's Make Robots!

Which components are good for what (in terms of navigation)?

Hello All

I wonder if anyone could give a complete list (or a pointer to a source) of the various types of components that are usefull in determining the position and orientation of a robot. Essentially anything that is usefull in a complete navigation solution.

My initial thoughts are:

IR distance sensor - usefull for detecting obstacles

Sonar sensor - usefull for detecting obstacles

compass or magnometer - usefull for determining robot orientation. Apparantly when combined with an accelerometer one can have a tilt compensated compass.

accelerometer - change in velocity & direction?

wheel encoders - usefull for dead reconing

tilt switches - determine robot tilt

gyros - Determine change in robot orientation?

I am sure there are many more and I may have incomplete/incorrect understanding.

Thanks for any guidance. I am trying to determine what I should get to improve my bot navigation (which is currently limited to pointless wondering around without bumping into things). I do not like the idea of wheel encoders as I do experiance slippage. I think the http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1250 pololu compass carrier and accelorometer which apparantly provides a tilt compensated compass would be very usefull in determining how far the bot has turned given input from a navigation module. I am not sure what else I would use the accelerometer for, nor do I know whether it would be better to have a gyro instead.