January 14, 2021

Sick Ibeo 400x275Germany-based SICK AG and Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH announced today a technology partnership that has resulted in a 3D solid-state lidar sensor for industrial applications. The technology, developed by Ibeo to automotive standards, is based on a new photon laser measurement technique, and is entirely free of moving parts, the companies said in a statement. In addition, a camera-like reference image adds a “fourth dimension” to the measurement provided by the sensor.

With the market for autonomous and semi-autonomous systems for use in industrial contexts predicted to grow in the coming years, the companies said there is a demand for tough, ever-smaller, and cost-efficient sensor solutions. Through the partnership, Ibeo is providing its ibeoNEXT measurement core, while SICK will develop the system design and application software for a new industrial lidar sensor so that industrial applications can be created to meet customer requirements.

“Autonomous systems will bring increasing changes to the industrial sector in coming years,” said Robert Bauer, chairman of the executive board of SICK AG. “Even outside industrial facilities, there is much potential in mobile applications for the implementation of intelligent sensor solutions. The partnership with Ibeo will enable us to use a robust and highly developed technology from the automotive segment for future-ready applications.”

“Customers will profit from ibeoNEXT’s close-to-production development based on automotive standards and the high quality that results from this, as well as the scale effects associated with it,” said Ulrich Lages, CEO of Ibeo. “We have had a long and close relationship with SICK. Its extensive and in-depth application knowledge in the area of industrial applications and markets makes SICK an ideal partner to enable us to serve industrial markets.”

New laser technique

The measurement core is based on an entirely new photon laser measurement technique for measuring the spatial distance of objects in medium to long ranges, Ibeo said. Even in adverse environmental conditions, such as precipitation, or in situations subject to high levels of shock or vibration, the ibeoNEXT measurement core can obtain more than 10,000 elements of distance information from each 3D measurement. It also generates a black-and-white image similar to that from a camera, which enables a more reliable “4D” detection of surroundings.

“We decided to use Ibeo’s solid-state lidar technology because it is currently one of the most advanced 3D lidar measurement systems available in the world,” said Kay Fürstenberg, senior vice president for research and development at SICK. “It is an addition to our technology portfolio and enables us to offer, on top of our existing industrial applications, new, easy-to-integrate solutions in the field of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving for use in the industrial sector.”

Selected customers of SICK will be able to test this new 3D solid-state lidar sensor in early 2021, the company said. More details on SICK’s 3D lidar sensors are available here.