The new Toposens TS3 sensor is an embedded sensor system that sends out ultrasound waves in a frequency range inaudible by humans. An array of microphones subsequently records the echoes from all objects in the sensor’s vicinity and computes their location in a 3-dimensional space. It therefore creates an entirely new way of ultrasonic sensing for autonomous systems.
In addition to cars (backing up & parking), use cases include home cleaning robots and delivery/service robots. The TS3 sensor enables them to reliably map an environment with minimal processing power and to localize themselves in predefined maps to execute complex path planning algorithms. TS3 sensors perform independently of ambient light conditions and are even capable of detecting mirroring and transparent surfaces; adding an additional layer of safety where optical sensors tend to fail.
In comparison to common ultrasonic sensors, which usually measure the distance only to the closest reflecting surface, Toposens’ new 3D sensors achieve a wide field of view of up to 160° and provide simultaneous 3D measurements for multiple objects within the scanning area. The operation thus mimics the echolocation techniques used by bats and dolphins for navigation and orientation in the wild.