Toposens has partnered up with Infineon Technologies AG to realize 3D obstacle detection and collision avoidance in autonomous systems using Toposens’ proprietary 3D ultrasound technology. The Munich-based sensor manufacturer offers 3D ultrasonic sensors ECHO ONE DK that leverage sound, machine vision, and advanced algorithms to enable robust, cost-effective and accurate 3D vision for applications such as robotics, autonomous driving and consumer electronics.
The easy-to-integrate 3D ultrasonic sensor enables safe collision avoidance through precise 3D obstacle detection. It is based on Infineon’s XENSIV™ MEMS microphone IM73A135V01. This next-generation reference product allows customers to reduce their development efforts and time-to-market. In addition, it is low cost and energy efficient compared to existing industrial 3D sensors. The new technology is ideal for improving the performance of automated guided vehicles (AGVs).
“Our XENSIV MEMS microphones enable the detection of sound pulses, so they are a critical component for 3D object localization via ultrasound,” said Dr. Roland Helm, Vice President and Head of Sensor Product Line from Infineon. “They offer a combination of exceptionally low noise and the highest SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) in the industry, resulting in improved reliability of the 3D data. This allows the detection of even the faintest ultrasonic echoes from distant, complex and small objects.”
“Making use of Infineon’s MEMS microphone, we were able to realize our new ultrasonic 3D sensor with a high overall sensitivity in the ultrasonic frequency spectrum, giving us the best range and widest opening angle,” said Tobias Bahnemann, CEO and co-founder of Toposens. “This enables our AGVs, robots or other applications to avoid collisions with all kinds of obstacles, even in the harshest environments, as proven by the IP57 protection rating.”
Typically, lighting conditions, reflections and weather affect performance of existing sensor technologies. Toposens sensors, however, rely on echolocation to generate real-time 3D point clouds. This guides autonomous systems in even the most challenging conditions and allows consumer electronics to recognize their surroundings. The ultrasonic echolocation sensor enables 3D multi-object detection, which is critical for collision avoidance, with low calibration effort and high reliability and robustness. In addition, ultrasonic sensing reduces the high number of false positives and false negatives that can occur when using optical sensors and decreases the efficiency of the system.
Toposens is offering customers the new platform ECHO ONE DK for an easier and more flexible evaluation of the sensor in their products. For easy integration, CAN is offered as communication interface as standard, others can be offered per request. There are three software packages: a C++ library, ROS support and a cross-platform 3D data visualizer. In addition, a separate interface adapter is available for firmware updates.