Ultrasonic sensor mimics the echolocation used by bats
Toposens announced the release of TS3, a 3D ultrasonic sensor suitable for a wide range of applications in the autonomous systems market that require a strong need for reliable object detection and situational awareness. Toposens’ new 3D sensors achieve a wide field of view of up to 160 degrees and provide simultaneous 3D measurements for multiple objects within the scanning area.
The TS3 sensor combines hardware components with proprietary signal processing algorithms. The company says that systems benefit from its real-time processing capabilities while keeping data transmission bandwidth and power consumption low. TS3 sensors perform independently of ambient light conditions and can detect mirroring and transparent surfaces. For even higher reliability, the generated 3D point cloud can be fused with data from other system-relevant sensors.
The sensor is an embedded sensor system that sends out ultrasound waves in a frequency range that is inaudible by humans. An array of microphones subsequently records the echoes from all objects in the sensor’s vicinity and computes their location in a three-dimensional space. This creates a new way of ultrasonic sensing for autonomous systems.
“Because our new ‘Bat Vision’ TS3 sensor is compact, affordable, and integration-ready,” explained Tobias Bahnemann, Managing Director of Toposens, “engineers can easily add it to their sensor stacks to replace or complement their existing optical sensing systems, providing both redundancy and an improved level of accuracy compared to standard ultrasonic sensors in various autonomous navigation applications.”
The core technology is based on the Toposens’ SoundVision1 chip, making the sensor system adaptable to a variety of product designs.Technical specifications include a detection range of up to 5 m (16 ft) and a scan rate of approximately 28 Hz. The TS3 returns up to 200 points per second, with each 3D point corresponding to the cartesian coordinates and an additional volume measurement of the ultrasound wave’s echo returned by an object’s surface.