Sensor beams, obstacles, and possible paths

Benjamin Tovar, Fred Cohen, Steven M. LaValle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper introduces a problem in which an agent (robot, human, or animal) travels among obstacles and binary detection beams. The task is to determine the possible agent path based only on the binary sensor data. This is a basic filtering problem encountered in many settings, which may arise from physical sensor beams or virtual beams that are derived from other sensing modalities. Methods are given for three alternative representations: 1) the possible sequences of regions visited, 2) path descriptions up to homotopy class, and 3) numbers of times winding around obstacles. The solutions are adapted to the minimal sensing setting; therefore, precise estimation, distances, and coordinates are replaced by topological expressions. Applications include sensor-based forensics, assisted living, security, and environmental monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAlgorithmic Foundations of Robotics VIII - Selected Contributions of the Eighth International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2010
Event8th International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, WAFR - Guanajuato, Mexico
Duration: Dec 7 2008Dec 9 2008

Publication series

NameSpringer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
ISSN (Print)1610-7438
ISSN (Electronic)1610-742X


Other8th International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, WAFR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensor beams, obstacles, and possible paths'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this