Objective Evaluation of Scanning Ladar Configurations for Mobile Robots

Ankit Desai and Daniel Huber
Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent RObots and Systems (IROS), October, 2009.


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Abstract
Scanning laser range sensors ("Ladars") are frequently used in mobile robotics applications because their ability to accurately measure the environment in 3D makes them well-suited for perception tasks like terrain modeling and obstacle detection. The choice of ladar sensor and the manner in which it is configured and integrated into a robot platform is usually determined subjectively based on the experience of the project team members. This paper develops a method for evaluating ladar sensors and sensor configurations that objectively measures the quality of a sensor/configuration choice in terms of density and uniformity of measurements within a region of interest. The method is applicable to static sensors and environments as well as scenarios with moving objects and mobile sensors. It can be used to compare different sensors, to evaluate specific sensor configurations and search for the optimal one, and to aid in designing new ladar sensors tailored to specific applications. We find that popular ladar configurations are often not the best configuration choice, and that alternative configurations not commonly used would offer better data density and uniformity.

Keywords
Range Sensing, Field Robots, Navigation

Notes
Sponsor: This work was supported by the Agency for Defense Development, Republic of Korea.
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Vision and Autonomous Systems Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Vision and Mobile Robotics Lab and 3D Vision and Intelligent Systems Group
Associated Project(s): LIDAR and Vision Sensor Fusion for Autonomous Vehicle Navigation and Optimal LIDAR Sensor Configuration

Text Reference
Ankit Desai and Daniel Huber, "Objective Evaluation of Scanning Ladar Configurations for Mobile Robots," Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent RObots and Systems (IROS), October, 2009.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Desai_2009_6518,
   author = "Ankit Desai and Daniel Huber",
   title = "Objective Evaluation of Scanning Ladar Configurations for Mobile Robots",
   booktitle = "Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent RObots and Systems (IROS)",
   month = "October",
   year = "2009",
}