New Omnidirectional Sensor for Mobile Robots


Jabil Inc. has developed an omnidirectional sensor for mobile robotic and industrial equipment. It is a 3D time-of-flight (ToF) depth sensor that combines a custom optical assembly with an active illumination approach to provide a 360-degree by 60-degree field of view. 

Omnidirectional Sensor. Credit: Jabil Inc.

The solid-state sensor is designed to support lower-cost autonomous mobile robots and collaborative robots that can achieve greater precision.

While the conventional ToF cameras provide a limited field of view, Jabil’s omnidirectional sensor allows an immersive field of view for seamless detection and tracking of objects in a robot’s path. Additionally, a feature that adaptively controls the illumination significantly reduces sensor noise and improves both data quality and power management.

“Jabil’s wide field-of-view, the depth-sensing approach is opening up new possibilities for human interaction with robots,” says Donnacha O’Riordan, director of semiconductor manufacturer Analog Devices Inc., which makes the depth-sensing chip used in the sensor.

“Our design goal is to provide customers with optimal sensor performance in the smallest, lowest cost and lowest power solution possible,” says Ian Blasch, senior director of business development at Jabil Optics. The optics team is responsible for optimizing the performance of the omnidirectional sensor to address the needs of the robotics industry.

“Factors such as data formats, on-sensor processing and connectivity are moving targets in the quickly evolving robotics industry. Our beta-testing program for the omnidirectional sensor will allow us to continue to collect targeted feedback from customers and partners in the robotics ecosystem.”





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