Jabil, a manufacturing solutions provider, announced that its optical design center in Jena, Germany, is currently demonstrating a prototype of a next-generation 3D camera with the ability to operate in both indoor and outdoor environments up to a range of 20 meters.
Jabil, ams OSRAM and Artilux combined their proprietary technologies in 3D sensing architecture design, semiconductor lasers and germanium-silicon (GeSi) sensor arrays based on a scalable complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology platform, respectively, to demonstrate a 3D camera that operates in the short-wavelength infrared (SWIR), at 1130 nanometers.
Steep growth in automation is driving performance improvements for robotic and mobile automation platforms in industrial environments. The industrial robot market is forecast to grow at over 11% compound annual growth rate to over $35 billion by 2029. The 3D sensor data from these innovative depth cameras will improve automated functions such as obstacle identification, collision avoidance, localization and route planning — key applications necessary for autonomous platforms.
“For too long, industry has accepted 3D sensing solutions limiting the operation of their material handling platforms to environments not impacted by the sun. The new SWIR camera provides a glimpse of the unbounded future of 3D sensing where sunlight no longer impinges on the utility of autonomous platforms,” said Ian Blasch, senior director of business development for Jabil’s Optics division. “This new generation of 3D cameras will not only change the expected industry standard for mid-range ambient light tolerance but will usher in a new paradigm of sensors capable of working across all lighting environments.”
“1130nm is the first of its kind SWIR VCSEL technology from ams OSRAM, offering enhanced eye safety, outstanding performance in high sunlight environments, and skin detection capability, which is of critical importance for collision avoidance when, for example humans and industrial robots interact,” said Dr. Joerg Strauss, senior vice president and general manager at ams OSRAM for business line visualization and sensing. “We are excited to partner with Jabil to make the next-generation 3D sensing and machine vision solutions a reality.”