Range Sensors

Reference work entry


Range sensors are devices that capture the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of the world from the viewpoint of the sensor, usually measuring the depth to the nearest surfaces. These measurements could be at a single point, across a scanning plane, or a full image with depth measurements at every point. The benefits of this range data is that a robot can be reasonably certain where the real world is, relative to the sensor, thus allowing the robot to more reliably find navigable routes, avoid obstacles, grasp objects, act on industrial parts, etc.

This chapter introduces the main representations for range data (point sets, triangulated surfaces, voxels), the main methods for extracting usable features from the range data (planes, lines, triangulated surfaces), the main sensors for acquiring it (Sect. 22.1 – stereo and laser triangulation and ranging systems), how multiple observations of the scene, e.g., as if from a moving robot, can be registered (Sect. 22.2), and several indoor and outdoor robot applications where range data greatly simplifies the task (Sect. 22.3).


Range Image Iterate Close Point Range Sensor Iterate Close Point Robotic Application 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



application-specific integrated circuit


cerebral palsy


closest point


complementarity problem


Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency


field programmable gate array


global positioning system


iterative closest-point algorithm


laser radar or laser detection and ranging


light detection and ranging


multilevel surface map


Purkinje cells


principal contact


random sample consensus


red, green, blue


scale-invariant feature transformation


simultaneous localization and mapping


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of InformaticsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Artificial Intelligence CenterSRI InternationalMenlo ParkUSA

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