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Ultrasound and IR sensors vs Kinect for Robot navigation

asked 2015-03-25 13:50:58 -0600

Naman gravatar image

updated 2015-03-30 17:16:01 -0600

Hi all,

I have a mobile robot and I would like it to navigate around the building. I already have a 2D map of the building. I have Rotational encoders to get the odometry information and IMU/UWB for localization. I only have Ultrasound, IR sensors and Kinect which I can use for navigation. I want to know which is better for navigation (using Ultrasound and IR sensors or Kinect) given that I am aiming for pretty good accuracy as well as it should not be very computationally expensive. In my opinion, Kinect will do a better job but my concern with Kinect is that it might be computationally very expensive as compared to Proximity sensors given that I have to run it on the NVIDIA Jetson TK1 board ( ) but then again if I go with Proximity sensors, I have to use bunch of them and I don't know how effective and efficient that will be. Also, I am little worried about the dead band in case of Kinect which is around 50 cm which is way more than the dead band for Ultrasound sensors (~ 10 - 15 cm).
Any guidance regarding this will be appreciated.

Update 1: Can Kinect sensor be used for mobile robot navigation when there is a glass wall? I think it can not be used but I am not sure.

Thanks in advance.

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Roomba! :)

2ROS0 gravatar image 2ROS0  ( 2015-03-25 22:22:16 -0600 )edit

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answered 2015-03-29 17:35:14 -0600

Maya gravatar image

The move_base package can take a PointCloud as sensor_topic but it's more expensive and computationally it's going to cost you more than ultrasonic and/or IR. Ultrasonic are cheap and work fast but they are more use as a "last minute reaction" kind of sensor. Having the kinect gives a better accuracy in the general navigation.

As a side note, you're not doing any slam since you already have a map.

It all depend on you. Which is more important : Accuracy or speed or price or possibility to have your robot "upgraded" software-wise ? That's going to be what will help you make your choice :).

From my experience, the 3D camera didn't slowed down the robot "computation" that much, if you're using something other than a raspberry. But it costs a lot more money than IR/ultrasonic :P

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Thanks a lot. One more thing: Kinect can't be used when there is a glass wall, right as it will just pass through it?

Naman gravatar image Naman  ( 2015-03-30 16:34:10 -0600 )edit

That's actually a good question :P. I'll say yes but it might depend, I'm not sure.

Maya gravatar image Maya  ( 2015-03-30 16:52:24 -0600 )edit

@Naman that is correct

2ROS0 gravatar image 2ROS0  ( 2015-03-30 23:30:45 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2015-03-25 13:50:58 -0600

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Last updated: Mar 30 '15