I'm trying to detect obstacles for a distance of up to 10 meters in an outdoor environment. Up to meaning that I also want to be able to detect obstacles that are close to the robot. I am thinking of doing this using stereo vision, but I am unsure if this is in fact even possible (before I buy expensive hardware). So is it possible? Has anyone had any success?

If this isn't possible, then what kind of sensors could give me a decent point cloud for such a range (outdoors)? I need a sensor that will fit a medium size robot. Also it needs to be not overly expensive since I have a limited budget.


  • $\begingroup$ What makes you jump to the conclusion this might not be possible? $\endgroup$ Aug 10 '16 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ What research have you done? Yes, it's possible, and the software is free At the moment, your question sounds like a shopping question - You don't appear to have looked in-depth at any possible solutions to your problem, and instead post here stating you want to know "what kind of sensors could give me a decent point cloud" to "detect obstacles for a distance up to 10 meters" that will "fit a medium size robot" and that "needs to be not overly expensive". $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Aug 10 '16 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ If cost is a limiting factor, I suggest setting a hard budget and looking generally at the price points at which each "style" of technology is available- Kinect, LIDAR, stereo vision, etc. This should quickly eliminate the stuff beyond your ability to purchase. Then, compare specifications between the different technologies you can afford. If you then have specific, answerable questions about terminology, specifications, implementing a particular method, etc., then by all means, please come back and ask. If you want to discuss your project and get advice, please join us in Robotics Chat. $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Aug 10 '16 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry Chuck. I'm new here and I didn't mean for the question to sound like a shopping question. It is a plausibility question which you have answered. Maybe I should have included some more information. I'm volunteering on a project for a non profit organization. The project we are working on is for a 10 year old boy whose is visually impaired and whose dream is to ride a skateboard. We want to build him a helmet that gives him indications to where there might me obstacles using small vibrating motors embedded in the helmet. That is why we need a range of about 10m. $\endgroup$
    – Gil
    Aug 10 '16 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ I've been working on a solution using ROS with 2 cheap webcams that were donated. I have gone as far as I can with the webcams. I am at a point where I have to recommend if to buy a stereo camera but was unsure it would even work for our specifications (detecting obstacles in the range). Those cameras aren't cheap so I didn't want to get it wrong. Before posting I thought it wasn't possible thats why I asked if other sensors I may have overlooked. Anyways thanks Chuck $\endgroup$
    – Gil
    Aug 10 '16 at 23:35