“Sharp eye” for robots – ams Osram expands its 3D sensing portfolio

• Belago 1.1 Dot Projector combines VCSEL chip, optics and robust package.
• Component enables the creation of high-resolution maps of the environment to help robots
avoid collisions with people or obstacles.
• Belago 1.1 extends ams Osram’s comprehensive portfolio for all three 3D sensing methods.

ams Osram (SIX: AMS), a global leader in optical solutions, expands its 3D Sensing portfolio with the Belago 1.1 Dot Projector. While it will take some time before autonomous vehicles become mainstream, robots and automatic guided vehicles are becoming more advanced and carrying out more tasks than ever before. Technological developments in the field of 3D sensor technology are driving this trend. A key component of these systems are infrared light sources, such as ams Osram’s Belago 1.1. The Dot Projector combines a VCSEL chip with special optics and a robust package that is ideally suited for environment sensing via Active Stereo Vision (ASV) in robots and Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs).

“Consumer robots such as robotic vacuum cleaners or lawn mowers, and industrial AGVs and autonomous mobile robots need ‘eyes’ to navigate around their environment,” explains Matthias Gloor,

Product Manager at ams Osram. “With our Belago 1.1 Dot Projector, we provide vision to robots by helping construct a high-resolution map of their surroundings and enabling high-quality obstacle detection in a package that is easy to integrate for our customers.”

Active Stereo Vision uses two special infrared cameras to read the pattern that the Dot Projector projects onto a defined field-of-view, that is invisible to humans. By comparing the perspectives of the scene from both cameras, depth is calculated, resulting in a high-quality threedimensional map. If an object is located in front of the robot, it is visible on the 3D map and allows the robot to take action, such as stopping or going around the obstacle.

Micro Lens Array provides special dot pattern

The random dot pattern of the Belago 1.1 consists of 5,000 individual light dots, which are generated by combining the infrared VCSEL with a proprietary optical system (Micro Lens Array, MLA). This interaction also ensures high-image contrast for the two infrared cameras, which in turn enables a high-quality map of the environment. The Belago 1.1 emits light with a wavelength of 940 nanometers and achieves an optical power of up to 750 mW. The robot’s path is reliably de-
tected at a distance of one to three meters to avoid collisions. The Dot Projector combines the VCSEL chip, micro lens array and package in a single component, thereby greatly reducing the in-
tegration effort for system manufacturers. The compact dimensions of 4.2 mm x 3.6 mm x 3.3 mm allow customers to develop space-saving system designs. Also, a separate safety component (so-
called interlock) is integrated, which ensures eye safety. This component detects if the optics are broken or removed and immediately switches off the light source.

Belago 1.1 Dot Projector used in 3D systems enables additional emerging applications that require a high-resolution threedimensional map, such as face authentication for access control and payment terminals. But also applications like volume measurement with cameras along the logistics chain as well as gesture detection in consumer products for gaming, home gym and device control can easily be realized.

To evaluate the Belago 1.1 Dot Projector and the 3D performance of an Active Stereo Vision system built with it, ams Osram offers Hermes, a 3D camera evaluation kit. It is designed to help customers with the component- and system evaluation. Thanks to an additional software development kit, Hermes can be easily integrated into various environments to build proof of concepts in the lab. Besides the Belago 1.1, ams Osram has a comprehensive portfolio of illumination modules and sensors for all three 3D sensing methods – Active Stereo Vision (ASV), Structured Light (SL) and Time of Flight (ToF).