Obstacle avoidance of a mobile robot using low-cost ultrasonic sensors with wide beam angle

Yun Kyu Choi, Woo Soo Choi, Jae Bok Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


An ultrasonic sensor has been widely used as a range sensor for its low cost and capability of detecting some obstacles, such as glasses and black surfaces, which are not well detected by a laser scanner and an IR sensor. Although low-cost sensors are preferred for practical service robots, they suffer from the inaccurate and insufficient range information. This paper proposes a novel approach to obstacle avoidance using low-cost anisotropic ultrasonic sensors with wide beam angle. In this paper, obstacles can be detected by the proposed sensor configuration which consists of one transmitter and three receivers. Because even wide obstacles are represented by a point, which corresponds to the intersection of range data from each receiver of the anisotropic sensor, a robot cannot avoid wide obstacles successfully. This paper exploits the probabilistic mapping technique to avoid collision with various types of obstacles. The experimental results show that the proposed method can robustly avoid obstacles in most indoor environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1102-1107
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Institute of Control, Robotics and Systems
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Nov


  • Anisotropic ultrasonic sensor
  • Mobile robot
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Probability-based local map

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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