A technology partnership between Hamburg-based automotive LiDAR specialist Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH and SICK AG has resulted in a 3D solid-state LiDAR sensor for industrial applications. The technology, developed by Ibeo to automotive standards, is based on a new photon laser measurement technique and is entirely free of moving parts. An additional, camera-like reference image adds a “fourth dimension” to the measurement provided by the sensor.
The market for autonomous and semi-autonomous systems in an industrial context is predicted to grow at above-average rates. There is particular demand here for tough, ever-smaller and above all cost-efficient sensor solutions. The new solid-state technology from Ibeo works entirely without moving parts and features a compact form factor, thereby offering decisive advantages for mobile applications.
Now Ibeo and SICK have announced a technology partnership to develop a 3D LiDAR sensor based on this innovative solid-state technology from the automotive sector, for industrial applications. In this partnership, Ibeo is providing its ibeoNEXT measurement core. SICK will develop the system design and the application software for a new industrial LiDAR sensor so that industrial applications can be created to meet customer requirements.
“Autonomous systems will bring increasing changes to the industrial sector in coming years. Even outside industrial facilities there is much potential in mobile applications for the implementation of intelligent sensor solutions. The partnership with Ibeo will enable us to use a robust and highly-developed technology from the automotive segment for future-ready industrial applications,” says Dr. Robert Bauer, chairman of the executive board of SICK AG.
“Working together with SICK, we are making an automotive LiDAR sensor available on a large scale for industrial applications for the first time. In the industrial sector this is one of the largest LiDAR cooperation agreements ever concluded. Customers will profit from ibeoNEXT’s close-to-production development based on automotive standards and the high quality standards that result from this, as well as the scale effects associated with it,’ adds Dr. Ulrich Lages, CEO of Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH. ‘We have had a long and close working relationship with SICK. Its extensive and in-depth application knowledge in the area of industrial applications and markets makes SICK an ideal partner to enable us to serve industrial markets.”
The ibeoNEXT measurement core was developed for large-scale automotive production and is based on an entirely new photon laser measurement technique for measuring the spatial distance of objects in medium to long ranges. Even in adverse environmental conditions, such as precipitation, or in situations subject to high levels of shock or vibration, the ibeoNEXT measurement core reliably obtains over 10,000 elements of distance information from each 3D measurement. It also generates a black-and-white image similar to that from a camera, which enables an even more reliable ‘4D’ detection of the surroundings.
“We decided to use Ibeo’s solid-state LiDAR technology because it is currently one of the most advanced 3D LiDAR measurement systems available in the world. It is an addition to our technology portfolio and enables us to offer, on top of our existing industrial applications, new, easy-to-integrate solutions in the field of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving for use in the industrial sector,” says Dr. Kay Fürstenberg, senior vice-president for research and development at SICK AG.
Selected customers of SICK will have the opportunity of testing this new 3D solid-state LiDAR sensor as early as in 2021.
About SICK AG
SICK is a world-leading solutions provider for sensor-based applications in industrial settings. The company, founded in 1946 by Dr. Erwin Sick and based in Waldkirch, located near Freiburg in the Breisgau region, is a market and technological leader and has an global presence with over 50 subsidiaries and holdings plus numerous representatives. In the 2019 business year SICK employed more than 10,000 people worldwide and achieved a corporate turnover of about €1.8B.
For more information, visit http://www.sick.com.
Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH has established itself as a global technology leader for LiDAR sensors (English acronym for Light Detection And Ranging) and the associated products and software tools. This technology is used as an assistance system in cars and in the field of autonomous driving. It is Ibeo’s goal to reinvent mobility by enabling cars to become cooperative partners in the driving process, thus making transportation safer. Ibeo employs a total of over 400 people at its Hamburg, Eindhoven (Netherlands), and Detroit (USA) sites. Since 2016, the automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG has held a 40 percent share in Ibeo: initially via Zukunft Ventures GmbH, and since 2019 via ZF Automotive Germany GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of ZF. Ibeo celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018.