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The navigation stack works perfectly fine without a laser. The main reason you may want to use a laser for navigation (aside from helping with localization) is to mark obstacles on your local / global costmap so that your planners can avoid obstacles. If your global planner ("path planning in A") is already coming up with an obstacle free path, your local planner will just be doing path following with no active obstacle avoidance. However, when you are doing your A path planning, because you won't have obstacle avoidance in your local planner you may want to 'inflate' the area around the detected obstacles (i.e., make the obstacles larger so your global plan isn't super close to obstacles, giving your robot a buffer zone).