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Real-time scanner will ‘revolutionise’ 3D measurements

12 April, 2023

Pepperl+Fuchs has combined two technologies – Lidar and Mems (microelectromechanical systems) – to come up with a system that measures distances in 3D from a few centimetres to several hundred metres, with millimetre accuracy. The R3000 Lidar/Mems sensor, which makes its debut at this month’s Hannover Messe, can capture complex, dynamic scenes in real time, with potential applications ranging from automated guided vehicles to service robots and beyond.

The Lidar (light detection and ranging) system in the sensor is P+F’s PRT (pulse ranging technology), which emits 250,000 laser pulses per second, and suppresses ambient light and other environmental factors to deliver fast, precise measurements.

To measure in 3D, Pepperl+Fuchs has combined PRT with a Mems system developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology (ISIT). A small mirror in the sensor, driven by a piezoelectric element, deflects the laser beam in two axes so that it scans an area of 40 x 30 degrees. Unlike other 3D sensors, there is no pixel grid. Instead, the R3000 uses a tiny spot of light and smooth scanning to produce ultra-high-resolution 3D point clouds with “exceptional” detail.

The sensor – which measures 150 x 75 x 50mm – also generates a superimposed intensity image that can be used to visualise the scene and facilitate programming and operation. Every measurement point can be shown with a visible laser beam. The synchronous laser projector allows the R3000 to be aligned and adjusted precisely without needing any extra tools, simplifying the commissioning process. This function could also allow interactions between users and service robots, for example.

Pepperl+Fuchs says that sensor “heralds a revolution for solving complex automation tasks”. Precise 3D images will be essential for the next generation of autonomous transport system, it argues, from driverless industrial systems to the automated transport of patients in nursing homes.

A Mems-driven mirror deflects the laser beam in two axes to create high-resolution 3D point clouds in real time

The sensor will allow complex, dynamic scenes to be captured in detail in real time, creating data for use by new AI (artificial intelligence) tools. P+F predicts that the new sensor, in combination with advanced algorithms, will drive the development of autonomous vehicles and other applications in all areas of life.

Pepperl+Fuchs:  Twitter  LinkedIn

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