Mobile robot guidance by laser beam (sketch)

Laser guidance directs a robotics system to a target position by means of a laser beam. The laser guidance of a robot is accomplished by projecting a laser light, image processing and communication to improve the accuracy of guidance. The key idea is to show goal positions to the robot by laser light projection instead of communicating them numerically. This intuitive interface simplifies directing the robot while the visual feedback improves the positioning accuracy and allows for implicit localization. The guidance system may serve also as a mediator for cooperative multiple robots.[1][2] Examples of proof-of-concept experiments of directing a robot by a laser pointer are shown on video.[3][4] Laser guidance spans areas of robotics, computer vision, user interface, video games, communication and smart home technologies.

Commercial systems

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. may have been using this technology in robotic vacuum cleaners since 2014.[5]

Google Inc. applied for a patent with USPTO on using visual light or laser beam between devices to represent connections and interactions between them (Appl. No. 13/659,493, Pub. No. 2014/0363168).[6] However, no patent was granted to Google on this application.

Military use

Main article: Precision-guided munition § Laser-guided

Laser guidance is used by military to guide a missile or other projectile or vehicle to a target by means of a laser beam, either beam riding guidance or semi-active laser homing (SALH).[7] With this technique, a laser is kept pointed at the target and the laser radiation bounces off the target and is scattered in all directions (this is known as "painting the target", or "laser painting"). The missile, bomb, etc. is launched or dropped somewhere near the target. When it is close enough for some of the reflected laser energy from the target to reach it, a laser seeker detects which direction this energy is coming from and adjusts the projectile trajectory towards the source. While the projectile is in the general area and the laser is kept aimed at the target, the projectile should be guided accurately to the target. Countermeasures to laser guidance are laser detection systems, smoke screen, and anti-laser active protection systems.

See also


  1. ^ Paromtchik, Igor (2006). "Optical Guidance Method for Robots Capable of Vision and Communication" (PDF). Robotics and Autonomous Systems. 54 (6). Elsevier: 461–471. doi:10.1016/j.robot.2006.02.005.
  2. ^ "Method and System of Optical Guidance of Mobile Body". U.S. Patent 6,629,028.
  3. ^ "Mobile Robot Guidance by Laser Pointer" (Video). YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Legged Robot Direction by Laser Pointer" (Video). YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Samsung's Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Chases Laser Pointer". 7 August 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  6. ^ Purcher, Jack (14 December 2014). "Google Invents a Smartphone that Could Transfer Data to a Large Smart Wall or Display using a built-in Laser Beam". Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Spot Leading Target Laser Guidance for Engaging Moving Targets". U.S. Patent 8,237,095.