Chinese LiDAR sensor wins Edison Award, helps in pandemic

Friday, 03 April, 2020

Chinese LiDAR sensor wins Edison Award, helps in pandemic

Chinese company RoboSense has been honoured as a winner in the Transportation & Logistics Category of the 2020 Edison Awards for its autonomous driving LiDAR perception technology.

RoboSense’s LiDAR technology is currently finding application in various robotic technologies from companies such as Neolix, Alibaba’s Cainiao Robotics, Unity Drive Innovation, Zhen Robotics and others on unmanned vehicles and robots to deliver goods, and disinfecting and cleaning streets to prevent further spread of the coronavirus in China (see video below). RoboSense LiDAR provides these robots with perception abilities that outperform human eyes, while embedded AI perception algorithms output real-time semantic-level structural environmental information for navigation in Chinese cities.

The Edison Awards recognise persistence and excellence in innovation and honours innovative products and business leaders from around the world. Established in 1987 and named after inventor Thomas Alva Edison, winners are chosen by a global review panel consisting of 3000 senior business executives and academics.

“We are very proud that our Smart LiDAR Sensor has been recognised in the 2020 Edison Awards,” said Dr Leilei Shinohara, RoboSense Co-partner and Vice President. “It recognises RoboSense’s product design, development and production processes, and also indicates that RoboSense has achieved a new milestone of complete readiness for mass production of automotive LiDARs. We will continuously improve the product performance for the safety and mass production development of autonomous vehicles.”

For autonomous driving, the sensor hardware only collects data, thus AI perception algorithms for data analysis are needed to speed up a self-driving car’s accurate decision-making. The RoboSense RS-LiDAR-M1 is said by the company to be the world’s first and smallest MEMS Smart LiDAR Sensor to incorporate sensor hardware, AI perception algorithms and IC chipsets. It transforms overpriced traditional LiDAR systems known as solely information collectors to full data analysis and comprehension systems, providing essential information for the autonomous vehicles to achieve decision-making faster and safer. For OEMs, the smart LiDAR Sensor with AI perception algorithms inside can also reduce the performance and cost requirements for the domain controller within the vehicle, releasing their R&D investment pressure.

The RoboSense MEMS-based automotive-grade LiDAR M1 uses 905 nm lasers, and is low cost and compact in size. Parts have been reduced from hundreds to dozens in comparison to traditional mechanical LiDARs, greatly reducing the cost and shortening production time — achieving a breakthrough in manufacturability. The coin-sized optical module processes the optical-mechanical system results to meet autonomous driving performance and mass production requirements.

In December, RoboSense’s LiDAR production line including RS-LiDAR-M1 has obtained the IATF 16949 certification for the automotive field, which now fully qualifies it to supply to automotive customers. As the winner of the CES Innovation Award in 2019 and 2020, RoboSense RS-LiDAR-M1 also demonstrated that it is capable of real road tests on open roads at CES 2020.

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