Using 3D Cameras in Mobile Robotics
3D cameras can provide positional information that allows the AMR to self-localize and react to changing stimuli, navigate around obstacles, and stop when workers approach. By empowering AMRs with situational perception and reactivity, we enable a new generation of safer and more effective robotic systems for commercial, industrial, and – eventually – domestic applications.
Mobile Robotics: Reading the Lay of the Land
Today’s AMRs are largely relegated to use in modified environments where they travel a predefined path established using induction loops or visual patterns. This is a useful approach for repetitive tasks such as order fulfillment in warehouses, but it is inflexible and can be expensive.
Building AMRs capable of truly autonomous navigation (i.e. in unmodified or modified environments) requires sophisticated situational perception and real-time signal processing. This is described as a scene-related task. By that, we mean the objective is to acquire relevant spatial information about the surrounding environment, including depth. 3D cameras based on Time-of-Flight (ToF) technology are increasingly deployed for localization and obstacle detection in AMRs.
Why Use ToF 3D Cameras for AMRs?
At Terabee, we use eye-safe infrared light emitting diodes (LEDs) and VCSEL in our 3D cameras for mobile robotics applications. They offer rapid distance readings at high frame rates with exceptional resolution across the full measurement range. Our engineers continuously work to extract the best performance out of our foundational devices without compromising on price. This allows us to generate premium 3D cameras at competitive prices, empowering users in cost-critical areas of application.
In the context of robotics, this enables AMRs to near-constantly stream distance data, providing the precision necessary for localization in unmodified environments and reliable yet flexible obstacle avoidance.
There is still a long way to go before AMRs are capable of self-organization and emergent functionality. But ToF 3D cameras represent the best solution for extending the viability of mobile robotic systems beyond industrial environments.
Terabee is one of Europe’s leading developers of 3D cameras based on infrared ToF technology. Our systems have already been leveraged in a host of AMR and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications, enabling the next generation of autonomous mobility in commercial and industrial spheres. Want to learn more? Contact us using the link below.