October 14, 2021
Germany’s Toposens GmbH has announced the release of its new Ultrasonic Echolocation Sensor for 3D Collision Avoidance, the Echo One DK. The industrial-grade sensor development kit is based on the company’s 3D ultrasonic technology, which mimics a bat’s echolocation techniques. The sensors can help automated guided vehicles, robots and other industrial applications to avoid collisions.
Unlike other sensor technologies that can be negatively impacted by lighting conditions or moisture, including fog, Toposens’ Echo One DK uses echolocation to generate robust, real-time 3D echo location data to guide autonomous systems across several applications. The company said the sensor is particularly robust in harsh environments (it includes IP67 protection rating), as it is dirt tolerant, and not affected by dust, smoke, and mist.
The sensor features 3D multi-object detection of complex and transparent objects in an ultra-short operating range, from 20 cm up to 3 m. It includes an ultrawide field-of-view of up to 180 degrees in ultra-short range, and up to 110 degrees at 3 meters. Its low power consumption of 2.2W supports a longer robot uptime, and the sensor is fully certified according to CE, FCC and IP67 regulations. The sensor comes with a CAN and USB interface, along with software that includes the Toposens Sensor Library (C++ Library), ROS Implementation Package, and the Cross-Platform Toposens 3D Visualizer. The company said it 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.
“Our biggest asset is our innovative combination of unique hardware configuration and software packages, based on patented 3D and time-of-flight algorithms and noise filtering, processing ultrasonic echo data into reliable 3D data,” said Tobias Bahnemann, CEO and co-founder of Toposens. “With our sensor solution, the high costs of operating accidents can be reduced, improving safety in manufacturing environments, and increasing the ROI of AGV applications.”
The company said there is currently no sufficient solution to the challenges of reliable environment perception in range-finding sensors, especially in 3D ultra-short range projecting robots from collisions with objects in 3D space. In logistics, AGVs are considered safer and more reliable than traditional transportation methods, yet they are still prone to navigation management issues such as deadlocks and collisions (for example, not detecting forklift forks accurately), which can lead to high repair costs and damaged AGVs, broken cargo, production stoppages and personal injuries.
“Our 3D ultrasonic sensor is the answer to this problem by precisely perceiving its environment and reliably detecting accident-causing objects such as forklift forks and even the smallest items lying in the path of an AGV, while yielding robust, light-tolerant data,” said Alexander Rudoy, co-founder and CTO of Toposens. “The in-built, best-in-class 3D collision avoidance features for added machine safety make it a cost-effective, reliable and efficient solution, which will help your AGV, robot, or other application avoid collisions with all kinds of obstacles, even in the roughest environments, as the IP67 rating proves.”
For more information on the Echo One DK, visit the company website here.