Infineon partners Toposens for 3D ultrasonic sensors on autonomous vehicles

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Toposens, a Germany-based technology company has announced a new partnership with Infineon, a German semiconductor manufacturer, for the development of 3D obstacle detection and collision avoidance in autonomous systems. Infineon looks to implement Toposens’ proprietary 3D ultrasound technology. 

Toposens offers 3D ultrasonic sensors ‘ECHO ONE DK’ that leverage sound, machine vision, and advanced algorithms to enable 3D vision for applications such as robotics, autonomous driving and consumer electronics. The 3D ultrasonic sensor enables safe collision avoidance through precise 3D obstacle detection. It is based on Infineon’s ‘XENSIV’ MEMS microphone IM73A135V01. According to Infineon, this next-generation reference product allows customers to reduce their development efforts and time-to-market. In addition, it is low cost and energy efficient compared to existing industrial 3D sensors and the new technology is ideal for improving the performance of automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

3D ultrasonic sensors ECHO ONE DK from Toposens

Dr. Roland Helm, Vice President and Head of Sensor Product Line from Infineon said, “Our XENSIV MEMS microphones enable the detection of sound pulses, so they are a critical component for 3D object localization via ultrasound. They offer a combination of exceptionally low noise and the highest SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) in the industry, resulting in improved reliability of the 3D data. This allows the detection of even the faintest ultrasonic echoes from distant, complex and small objects.”

Tobias Bahnemann, CEO and co-founder of Toposens said, “Making use of Infineon’s MEMS microphone, we were able to realize our new ultrasonic 3D sensor with a high overall sensitivity in the ultrasonic frequency spectrum, giving us the best range and widest opening angle. This enables our AGVs, robots or other applications to avoid collisions with all kinds of obstacles, even in the harshest environments, as proven by the IP57 protection rating.”

Typically, lighting conditions, reflections and weather affect performance of existing sensor technologies. Toposens sensors, however, rely on echolocation to generate real-time 3D point clouds. Thus, guiding autonomous systems in even the most challenging conditions and allows consumer electronics to recognize their surroundings. Toposens claims that the ultrasonic echolocation sensor enables 3D multi-object detection, which is critical for collision avoidance, with low calibration effort and high reliability and robustness. In addition, ultrasonic sensing reduces the high number of false positives and false negatives that can occur when using optical sensors and decreases the efficiency of the system.

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