Robots are being called upon to handle a broader variety of tasks. They are expanding beyond traditional roles as stationary workhorses in areas such as manufacturing to becoming mobile machines that address a wide array of demanding automation duties.
In a story on autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) posted on the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) website, Jimmy Carroll writes:
“Lidar technology, like the products offered by Velodyne Lidar, allows different types of robots to work in varying environments to leverage rich and accurate 3D information for high-speed and safe navigation by avoiding collisions with small objects such as dunnage, overhanging objects such as cables or light fixtures, and moving obstacles such as people, with ample time to safely navigate.”
The story notes how the Velarray M1600 solid-state lidar sensor “provides AMRs with real-time, near-field perception data up to 30 meters and a broad 32-degree vertical field of view, allowing them to traverse unstructured and changing environments.”
The article quotes Vishal Jain, our Vice President of Software Engineering, saying:
“The M1600 solid-state lidar sensor is built using Velodyne’s proprietary micro-lidar array architecture, which features the company’s optical chip technology with eight lidar channels miniaturized to the size of a penny, which forms the ‘engine’ of the lidar sensor. The miniaturization combined with Velodyne’s proprietary, fully automated manufacturing process enables cost-effective, high-quality mass production.”
Lidar is an essential ingredient in robotic autonomy and navigation. It allows mobile robots to extend outside controlled situations with pre-defined tasks and function in unfamiliar and unpredictable settings.