I would like to detect road surface in a park. In the park, only small grass are covered with the both side of the road. That means there is road and the both side of the road are covered by small grass. Is it possible to detect road surface (not grass) using LRF data or other laser sensors? If not, why? if yes, which is better-Camera or laser sensor?

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    $\begingroup$ I am not an image processing guru, but I think it is easier with a camera. Basically you have a brown-greyish path surrounded with huge green surfaces. Sounds easier to distingush them useing a camera. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


Is it possible to detect road surface (not grass) using LRF data or other laser sensors?

Yes it is possible. A laser scanner will give distance measurements along a scan line. Presumably, the road surface is sufficiently smooth that it will be distinguishable from natural terrain. A quick way (certainly not the best way) to get this working for a prototype would be to use a Hough transform to identify lines in the laser scan, the idea being that a scan of the road will be a reasonably clean line and natural terrain will not. This of course requires the laser scanner to be downward facing (perhaps mounted on a mast), which seems like a waste.

Which is better-Camera or laser [range finder]? Because you don't seem to care about exact distances between the robot and the grass, I would suggest using a camera, which will be significantly cheaper. As for which is better, that depends on what you are actually doing.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for your answer. So far I know Laser range finder uses laser beam to determine the distance of the object. But if there is no enough gap between road surface and grass area (Grass is very small), then what will happen! Laser beam will be reflected or not? if not reflected, then laser sensor can differentiate the two region or not. Sorry for my questions because I am new in this field. $\endgroup$
    – Learning
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand your question. What do you mean when you say that there is "not enough gap between road surface and grass area"? $\endgroup$
    – JSycamore
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 13:52

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