First industrial grade 3D ultrasonic collision avoidance sensor

22-07-2022 | Toposens | Test & Measurement

Toposens launches its first commercial Toposens 3D Collision Avoidance System for mobile robots based on the proprietary Toposens 3D ultrasonic echolocation technology.

Satisfying the unmet demand for higher safety of mobile robots in industrial settings, the Toposens 3D Ultrasonic Echolocation Sensor Echo One and Toposens Processing Unit with sophisticated filters for 3D collision avoidance is available now, having been run through rigorous commercial testing in real-life industrial scenarios with reputable mobile robotic companies.

Based on the principle of echolocation as seen in bats, Echo One compensates for the drawbacks of optical sensors through sound-based triangulation in combination with sophisticated noise-filtering software. This, then, delivers robust 3D data output in real-time for each obstacle detected within the fully adjustable warn- and stop zones. The zones can be set to dynamically follow a mobile robot taking a left- or right turn and adjust to the vehicle's speed.

The sensor sends the gathered data (echo reflections perceived by three microphones) in a 3D point cloud format to the Processing Unit, provided with an easy-to-configure advanced 3D collision avoidance software.

Depending on which 3D zone violations are detected, it triggers either a "slow down" or "stop" command to the mobile robot's CPU. When no zone violations are detected, the mobile robot drives on.

"Being able to detect multiple difficult-to-detect obstacles reliably and in real-time, regardless of environmental conditions, enables us to provide next-level robotic safety for our customers. Our technology addresses the shortcomings of optical sensors, such as LiDARs, which can fail to detect floor-based objects like forklift forks on the floor in unfavourable lighting conditions or transparent or mirrored object surfaces. Receiving data output in 3D, meaning in x, y, and z coordinates, guarantees the most reliable level of 3D collision avoidance", says Tobias Bahnemann, CEO and Co-Founder of Toposens and continues:

"Ahead of production, we have been co-developing and testing our Toposens Echo One in pilot projects and actual real-life set-ups with renowned companies for almost two years. This has put us in a position from which we can now offer our customers a state-of-the-art, next-level robotic safety system. With 3D collision avoidance capabilities missing in existing sensor solutions, the economic setback of damaged goods or even expensive production stops as a consequence of undetected obstacles can considerably limit the ROI of any mobile robot system. This highlights the necessity for mobile robots to "see" their environment using a different kind of vision technology - we call it "BAT VISION" and are delighted to now be moving on to serial production."

By Natasha Shek