Development and performance evaluation of planar travel distance sensors for mobile robots in sandy terrain

Arata Yanagisawa, Genya Ishigami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A planar travel distance sensor (two-dimensional sen-sor) was developed for a mobile robot in sandy terrain. The sensor system uses an optical flow device integrated into a small module with a simple configuration. The system achieves a high sampling rate on the order of milliseconds as well as precise measurement on a sub-millimeter order. Its performance was evaluated experimentally for measurement accuracy and repeatability, velocity response, robustness at varied heights with respect to terrain, and terrain surface characteristics. The experimental results confirm that the two-dimensional sensor system is accurate, having an error of distance traveled of less than a few percent, and that it possesses a wide dynamic range for the robot’s traveling velocity. This paper also discusses the applicability of the two-dimensional sensor for practical scenarios on the basis of the experimental findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-894
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Robotics and Mechatronics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1



  • Localization
  • Mobile robot
  • Optical flow sensor
  • Sandy terrain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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