January 12, 2021

AMS EGA2000 400x275Austria-based AMS, a global supplier of high-performance sensor solutions, announced a family of infrared Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) flood illuminators, aimed to help industrial manufacturers develop applications for robots, cobots, autonomous guided vehicles, and smart devices that perform 2D and 3D optical sensing.

The new EGA2000 flood illuminators provide a uniform, tightly controlled, and high-output power illumination, which is essential for evolving applications that use ranging, object detection, facial recognition, and more sophisticated 3D sensing techniques based on time of flight or stereo vision, AMS said.

The company added that 3D sensing was pioneered in mobile phones for secure facial recognition, and is now emerging in the industrial mass market for applications such as object dimension detection in robotics; 3D mapping of an environment for AGVs, including automatic vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers; facial recognition in industrial systems such as e-payment kiosks and smart locks; and night vision cameras.

“The rate of innovation in markets such as logistics and warehousing, home and building automation, and Industry 4.0 is remarkable,” said Markus Luidolt, senior marketing director for 3D Sensing Modules and Solutions at AMS. “A mass market is emerging for new product categories such as home cleaning robots, cobots to assist human factory operators, and AGVs to replace conventional forklift trucks in warehouses. The superior optical performance of the EGA2000 family and the range of options that it provides will help industrial companies to achieve more reliable ranging and depth mapping, speeding the go-to-market with fewer design iterations and less system debugging. Furthermore, to support customers’ R&D investments in industrial products serving a wide range of challenging applications, the EGA product family is designed for long-term availability.”

Matching the micro-optics to suit the characteristics of the VCSEL emitter, the EGA2000 illuminators produce a uniform beam, which has a homogeneous rectangular profile, AMS said. This illumination profile and field of illumination match the field of view of the IR image sensors used in 2D and 3D ranging and detection systems, which increases the strength and integrity of the reflected optical signal.

The company is offering the EGA2000 family in two wavelength options:

  • 850 nm for systems requiring maximum sensitivity
  • 940 nm for easier compliance with eye safety regulations; rejection of sunlight interference also makes the 940 nm suitable for outdoor use.

Each wavelength option is also available in one of three beam configurations:

  • Ultra-wide Fol - aimed at obstacle avoidance in robotics, and people-counting applications
  • Wide Fol - used in machine vision systems such as volume measurement in logistics systems
  • Narrow Fol - used for contour measurements and allowing long-range measurement.

AMS said the EGA2000 flood illuminators are now available for sampling, with a targeted mass production date of Q2 2021. Evaluation kits will also be available in the coming weeks. For sample requests, or more information, head to the AMS website.