June 22, 2021

JabilOptics400x275Jabil has announced that its optical design center is currently developing a new ominidirectional sensor aimed at robotic and industrial platforms. The 3D time-of-flight  (ToF) depth sensor with a 360-degree-by-60-degree field of view is being developed by combining a custom optical assembly with an active illumination approach. Jabil said the solid-state design is one of several sensing systems that Jabil Optics is designing to support lower-cost autonomous mobile robot and collaborative robot platforms.

In contrast to conventional ToF cameras, the immersive field of view of Jabil’s omnidirectional sensor allows for seamless detection and tracking of objects in a robot’s path, aimed at improving both obstacle avoidance and worker safety. The company said its use of scene information to dynamically control illumination reduces sensor noise while improving data quality and power management.

“A mission of Analog Devices is to enable the autonomous mobile robot revolution by providing high performance and highly differentiated signal chains that bridge the gap between the analog and digital worlds,” said Donnacha O’Riordan, director of Analog Devices. “The Jabil omnidirectional sensor is one of the most innovative implementations of the ADI depth-sensing technology we have encountered. Jabil’s wide field-of-view, depth-sensing approach is opening up new possibilities for human interaction with robots.”

The Jabil Optics team plans to optimize the performance of the omnidirectional sensor to address the needs of a rapidly changing robotics industry. “Our design goal is to provide customers with optimal sensor performance in the smallest, lowest cost and lowest power solution possible,” said Ian Blasch, senior director of business development at Jabil Optics. “Factors such as data formats, on-sensor processing and connectivity are moving targets in the quickly evolving robotics industry. Our beta testing program for the omnidirectional sensor will allow us to continue to collect targeted feedback from customers and partners in the robotics ecosystem.”

Those interested in receiving the beta development kit of the Jabil omnidirectional sensor can request it through this website.