Toposens GmbH is officially releasing its new Ultrasonic Echolocation Sensor for 3D Collision Avoidance.
The industrial-grade sensor development kit, called ECHO ONE DK, is the next level development based on the company’s proven 3D ultrasonic technology, which mimics a bat’s echolocation techniques.
Unlike existing sensor technologies that can be negatively impacted by lighting conditions or moisture (such as fog), Toposens’ ECHO ONE DK uses echolocation to generate robust, real-time 3D echolocation data to guide autonomous systems across a variety of applications. The performance of this 3D ultrasonic sensor is particularly robust in harsh environments (featuring the IP67 protection rating), as it is dirt tolerant and not affected by dust, smoke, and mist.
The company, which has also opened an office in Silicon Valley, has a simple goal with its new ECHO ONE DK: Next-Level Robotic Safety. Offering solutions to shortcomings of existing, typically optical range-finding technologies through best-in-class 3D object detection (such as detecting forklifts forks in 3D space), makes the ECHO ONE DK the perfect go-to technology for the development of reliable 3D collision avoidance.
Owing to the unprecedented and unrivaled 3D ultrasonic sensing capabilities, customers can increase efficiency and safety in automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and other robotic systems.
The ECHO ONE DK features 3D multi-object detection of complex and transparent objects in an ultra-short operating range from 20cm up to 3m. It offers an ultra-wide Field-of-View of up to 180° in ultra-short range and up to 110° at 3m. Its low power consumption of 2.2 W supports a longer robot uptime, and it is fully certified according to CE, FCC, and IP67 regulations. For easy integration, this DK comes with a CAN and USB interface and the following software packages: Toposens Sensor Library (C++-Library), ROS Implementation Package, Cross-Platform Toposens 3D Visualizer.
To ensure the highest possible standard of all hardware and software components integrated into the sensor ecosystem, Toposens is partnering with notable high-tech companies such as Infineon, Murata, and Nvidia, which supply various high-class parts including the XENSIVTM MEMS microphones, passive components, and post-processing computation platforms.
There is currently no sufficient solution to the challenges of reliable environment perception in range-finding sensors, especially in 3D ultra-short-range protecting robots from collisions with objects in 3D space. In logistics, AGVs are considered safer and more reliable than traditional transportation methods. Nevertheless, they are still prone to navigation management issues such as deadlocks and collisions (e.g., not detecting forklift forks accurately), which can lead to high repair costs and damaged AGVs, broken cargo, production stoppages, and in the worst case, personal injuries.
While the AGV-market is expected to grow to 50% CAGR, AGV-related accidents amount to 100,000 USD plus in damages per factory per year. Thus, there is a valid need for advanced sensor-based safety features to prevent those costly collisions and to increase automation efficiency by minimizing false positives and deadlocks.