Best range sensor for autonomous rover

I’m looking for the best sensor for range finding on an outdoor autonomous rover. I’ve seen people using ultrasonic sensors, but I’ve also seen the laser ToF range sensors. Does anyone have input on personal experiences with these?

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I can’t answer your question I’m afraid but I’m interested to know what you are building. Are you using a kit for a chassis and will a Particle device be the main controller? What sort of motors are you using to drive it?

I’ve been thinking of doing a similar thing. I wanted a rover that I could drive around or just go around the garden in autonomous mode. I did think that if I could put a spinning blade on the bottom it would keep the grass trimmed to, though going off the edge of the lawn would be an issue. The capability of a xenon or argon with low power consumption makes it temping. A Pi is another alternative and has the advantage of a camera, which I wondered if I could use to recognize grass (as well as range sensors).

Apart from a few ideas floating around my head, I’ve not got much further. There are some geared 12v motors, so I was thinking a small 12v leisure battery and a step down for the controller.

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I’ve only got an idea in my head and sketches for designs. No bill of materials yet so I’m not sure what motors I’ll be using yet or any specifics.

I remember couple of years ago I worked on project with SICK barcode laser scanner CLV490.
We were able to obtain raw data to analyse really thin liquid glue which where apply to a surface of paper with spped of 800m/min The row data from scaner bring a lot of info about glue surface and any disturbsions which we can use to mark on which meter something was wrong.

So I just thinking loudly… maybe you can be abble to use some cheap hand barcode scanner with RS232 interface get the raw data analyse with object present in laser and on completly clear area and then appy this to your project. I got one of this scanners so when i got some free time I’ll try this and then I’ll let you know if is worth or not.