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This paper presents a method for measuring 3D environment by a tracked vehicle robot using a laser range finder (LRF) with an arm-type movable unit. The unit is mounted on the robot and the LRF is installed at the end of the unit. This sensing system enables the sensor to change position and to face at a right angle to a variety of configuration. Because of the occlusion can be avoided by this mechanism, the robot can measure a 3D configuration such as valley, gap, upward or downward stairs more accurately than conventional 3D sensing system with the LRF, which have generally used a rotating mechanism. In this study, we have designed and fabricated a prototype system of the movable LRF unit and mounted it on a tracked vehicle robot with two crawlers that we have been developing. Experimental results for basic 3D sensing showed that proposed system is useful for sensing more complex terrain.
Date of Conference: 3-6 Nov. 2009