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Intelligence and Sensing for Drone Operations

Fast, lightweight, high-performance Time of Flight sensing for drone operations.
Precision altimeter : Obstacle avoidance sensor : Drone anti collision : Pilot aid : Vision systems aid

 

TeraRanger Advantages

Using LED Time-of-Flight, Terabee technology (branded TeraRanger) includes small, lightweight and high-performance distance and ranging sensors for drone operations. The maximum reading distance is up to 60 meters and for some TeraRanger Time-of-Flight sensors data update rates can be as high as 1000 readings per second. Typical weight of a sensor is just 8 to 12 grams. TeraRanger offers plug and play simplicity and cross-talk avoidance when using multiple sensors. 

 

Key features

  • Compact sensing for drones, lightweight design
  • Fast refresh rates (up to 1kHz)
  • Stable distance data acquisition over irregular-shaped surfaces (crops and trees, etc.)
  • Plug and Play simplicity
  • Compatible with Pixhawk flight controllers
  • CE certified and eye-safe
  • Works indoors and outdoors

 

Product benefits

sensing for drone

Precision altimeter

  • Stable altitude hold and height control
  • Terrain following
  • Auto landing for multirotor, helicopter, fixedwing, etc

Drone collision avoidance

  • Increase safety when flying close to obstacles
  • Maintain fixed distances from objects during inspection
  • Avoid obstacles indoors and outdoors

Complement to vision systems

  • Add scale to vision data

 

 

Drone obstacle avoidance indoor flight

Obstacle avoidance drone

Drone obstacle avoidance indoor drone

In this use case, you’ll see TeraRanger Tower and TeraRanger Evo enabling drone with obstacle avoidance indoor flight (GPS-denied). A single TeraRanger Evo controls the altitude of the drone whilst TeraRanger Tower prevents the drone from flying into static and dynamic obstacles.

This configuration is compatible with Pixhawk running ArduCopter. See our detailed post here for full setup details and instructions.

If you require robust solutions for indoor drone collision avoidance flight, please contact us. We will be happy to explore your requirements with you.

Featured product: TeraRanger Evo

Click “Learn More” for specification sheets, user manuals, software and other resources.

 

TeraRanger Evo is the long-range Time-of-Flight distance sensor of the TeraRanger product family.

Featured product: TeraRanger Tower

Click “Learn More” for specification sheets, user manuals, software and other resources.

 

TeraRanger Tower is a simultaneous multi-axis scanner for SLAM and drone collision avoidance and drone object avoidance capable of replacing traditional laser lidar scanners in some applications.

Drone precision altimeter with TeraRanger One!

TeraRanger distance sensors are ideally suited for use in drone applications, and in particular as a ‘drone precision altimeter’. The small size, light weight (8g), fast update rates and plug and play compatibility with autopilots, make the sensors the first choice for many professional drone builders. Here are some examples:

AirDog – The All-Terrain Autonomous Flying Action Sports Drone

TeraRanger One is used on AirDog II for rapid terrain tracking! It enables the high-speed drone precision altimeter to follow people as they perform their sports, without the drone crashing into the ground. Imagine a skier or mountain biking dropping into a steep valley. The sensor ensures the drone won’t descend until it has a clear path below it. We like this top-quality video showing AirDog II in action!

IFM (Intelligent Flying Machines)

TeraRanger distance sensors are assisting Intelligent Flying Machines (IFM) with their mission to automate indoor data capture. The exciting startup uses small and lightweight aerial systems to provide real-time inventory counting in warehouses, helping to improve the operational efficiency of manufacturing and logistics enterprises.

IFM uses computer vision and machine learning to collect data, navigating in close range to pallets and racking systems with centimeter accuracy. For this to work, fast and consistent altitude control of the drone is essential. After extensive testing, IFM selected the TeraRanger One distance sensor. “We are aware that aerial indoor navigation is highly complex, so we were after an altimeter that could provide our autopilot with fast and accurate distance data, and one that could still be physically integrated in our small platforms” says Marc Gyongyosi, CEO at IFM.

”TeraRanger One provides a reference point to position the flying robot at the necessary altitude at high speed within the warehouse. In fact, this contributes to our objective of autonomously turning over an entire warehouse in less than 20 minutes”. Marc continues, “It is impressive how all this high-performance sensing has been squeezed into a sensor that weights only 8 grams.”

Precision altimeter TeraRanger One

Squadrone System

After launching the Hexo+ drone in 2014, and selling over 3000 units worldwide, Squadrone System is now providing drone solutions to solve industrial problems. These include warehouse inventory management, insurance assessment for agriculture claims and a drone dedicated to the security of sensitive sites.

Antoine Level, CEO at Squadrone says: “TeraRanger proved to be the ideal precision altimeter, enabling our drones to hold a steady altitude while gathering high-quality data. We use TeraRanger One on our current platforms. The low power consumption and sensor performance is ideally suited to our needs.”

Drone precision altimeter

Chouette

We are pleased to support Chouette on their quest to keep every vineyard healthy! Thanks to their drone-based monitoring solution, it is possible to prevent the spread of diseases that could potentially ruin hectares of vines and months of work. They’ve created this video showcasing their drone-based monitoring solution using TeraRanger One drone precision altimeter.

High performance without using laser!

Instead of laser, TeraRanger One uses eye-safe LED technology. One advantage of this is that it enables the sensor to have a “Field of View” so that, rather than measuring distance based on a tiny point of light, the sensor measures over an area. At 1m distance the area is approximately 3cm by 3cm. At 10m it is approximately 30cm by 30cm, increasing linearly with range. In an altimeter and anti-collision application this is a significant advantage and provides a more appropriate and stable data stream. Rather than distance readings jumping up and down as you fly over a crop, alternating between the ground and the crop, instead the sensor streams a stable flow of distances in millimeters. If the sensors were mounted radially, for collision avoidance for example, and you were flying close to trees, TeraRangers’ Field of View means you are far more likely to ‘see’ the trees and be able to avoid them. A laser, by contrast, would be likely to ‘see’ the gaps between leaves and branches and look out to infinity or an object behind the tree.

Featured product: TeraRanger One

Click “Learn More” for specification sheets, user manuals, software and other resources.

Fast and complex aerial maneuvers – no problem for TeraRanger One!

TeraRanger One is the ideal solution for us” says Alexis Lussier Desbiens, Professor of Robotics and Mechanical Engineering at Sherbrooke University, whose team has developed a fixed-wing flying robot that lands on vertical walls! The S-MAD 

drone land on vertical walls

(Sherbrooke’s Multimodal Autonomous Drone) uses a thrust-assisted landing technique to reliably land on vertical walls, and then take-off again. To achieve this, they mounted a TeraRanger One distance sensor on the airframe to quickly identify vertical surfaces before pitching S-MAD into a vertical plane for approaching and‘perching’ on the wall. Alexis continues: “Thanks to the sensor’s small and lightweight design – we could easily integrate it on the S-MAD, while the fast update rate gave us the confidence to repeatedly launch the drone at concrete walls!”. Terabee’s optical LED Time-of-Flight technology for range sensing provides data refresh rates as high as 1000 readings per second, performing as well as, and often better, than laser systems but in a far smaller, lighter (only 8g) and less expensive form-factor.

For this type of creative aerial technology, there are many potential applications, including indoor and outdoor inspections of difficult-to-access locations, or long duration surveillance.
The team from Sherbrooke has provided us with a great video demonstrating both S-MAD and TeraRanger One in action: 


You can read more about the project on IEEE Spectrum. It’s a good article, even if they did refer to our technology as ‘laser’ rather than LED!

Featured product: TeraRanger One

Click “Learn More” for specification sheets, user manuals, software and other resources.

Drone object avoidance with TeraRanger Tower

Drone anti collision

This short video shows a Proof of Concept (PoC) of how TeraRanger Tower can be used on a drone to detect a wall.

You can use a single TeraRanger One sensor for front sensor object avoidance or, as in this PoC, up to eight sensors for perimeter coverage. This is plug and play with APM (from version 3.5 onwards) and is compatible with other Pixhawk-compatible flight controllers. We look forward to the developer community building on this PoC and further enhancing the code.

If you wish to collaborate with us, or if you require a robust solution for drone object avoidance, drone collision warning and drone anti collision, please contact us. We will be happy to explore collaboration and project opportunities with you.

Please note, this has been created in good faith for the open source community and has not been tested in a wide range of conditions. Please conduct your own testing and use at your own risk.

Click here to visit the ArduPilot website with information on Pixhawk connection and setup for Copter 3.5 and and above.

Featured product: TeraRanger Tower

Click “Learn More” for specification sheets, user manuals, software and other resources.

TeraRanger One aids vision-based drone intelligence

TeraRanger One is being put through its paces by a team from Prague Technical University as they compete in one of the world’s leading robotics events; the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics (MBZIR) Competition in March, 2017. The team of engineers has chosen the TeraRanger One sensor to compliment their vision-based systems in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle challenges, helping them to perform tasks without human interaction.The prestigious MBZIR competition, which take places in Abu-Dhabi, gathers leading robotic research institutions from all around the world. It is intended to demonstrate the current state of the art in robotics in terms of science and technological accomplishments, as well as inspire future developments in robotics. The total prize pool is USD 5 million.The video demonstrates preparations by the Prague team and shows two of the UAV challenges they must complete. The first is to land a drone on the roof of a moving vehicle, fully autonomously and without pilot intervention! The second requires a team of drones to perform cooperative object recognition, collection and delivery. In both cases TeraRanger One sensors provide the drones’ vision-based systems with fast and precise distance-to-target readings, allowing them to determine the depth and scale of the vision-based data.

For the MBZIR competition, the Prague Technical University team collaborates with partners from Lincoln University and Pennsylvania University. Terabee wishes to thank Prague Technical University for allowing us to re-use and edit their original video and images and wish the teams success in the upcoming tournament.

Featured product: TeraRanger One

Click “Learn More” for specification sheets, user manuals, software and other resources.

TeraRanger One helps ensure vineyard health with drone-based solution

drone vineyard health

Terabee is proud to support Chouette on their quest to keep every vineyard healthy! Thanks to their drone vineyard health monitoring solution, it is possible to prevent the spread of diseases that could potentially ruin hectares of vines and months of work.

To achieve this, they use TeraRanger One as a precision altimeter. Compared to laser-based systems with a very narrowfield of view, the TeraRanger solution provides a much smoother and more stable relative altitude as the drone alternates between flight over the ground and over the vines. Smoother flight improves the data acquisition process whilst also contributing to longer flight autonomy. This, combined with TeraRanger One’s low weight (just 8g) and low power consumption is helping the team at Chouette to achieve one hour flight times!

 

The Chouette team has produced this very nice video showing their platform in action and the services they provide ensuring vineyard health using drones.

Featured product: TeraRanger One

Click “Learn More” for specification sheets, user manuals, software and other resources.

Drone automatic re-initialization and failure recovery system

drone failure recovery system

Professor Davide Scaramuzza and his team from the robotics perception group of the University of Zurich have developed a state-of-the-art re-initialization and failure recovery system for drones.
A TeraRanger One was used as a high-performance altimeter, without which the experiment would not have been possible.

“Drone automatic re-initialization and failure recovery system”

 

Featured product: TeraRanger One

Click “Learn More” for specification sheets, user manuals, software and other resources.

CES 2015: TeraRanger One distance sensor at Intel keynote speech

precision altimeter

The TeraRanger One enabled AscTec drones with perfect stability when flying over a sound absorbing carpet during Intel’s keynote speech at the CES 2015.   Brian Krzanich, the CEO of Intel, even mentions the ability of the drone to move smoothly “up and down” to avoid obstacles – this was made possible with our TeraRanger One precision altimeter (beta version).

Watch the full Intel keynote speech at CES 2015

“CES 2015: TeraRanger One at Intel keynote speech”

Featured product: TeraRanger One

Click “Learn More” for specification sheets, user manuals, software and other resources.

Drone flies in the forest with collision avoidance

Drone with collision avoidance
In this nice video, Ascending Technologies (AscTec), one of the top engineering companies for UAVs, demonstrates a revolutionary working collision avoidance system for drones. A TeraRanger One was used as reactive altimeter in fast changing natural light conditions.
“Drone flies in the forest with collision avoidance”