Novel Color Depth Mapping Imaging Sensor System
Autonomous and semi-autonomous robotic systems require information about their surroundings in order to navigate properly. A video camera machine vision system can supply position information of external objects, but no range information. Ideally, a system that, in one package, provides 3-dimensional relative information about external objects is needed. To this end, Nanohmics will develop a lightweight, compact, low-power, low-cost modular sensor system that produces a color depth map of the surroundings. By combining a color optical camera, a multi-element range finding or LiDAR system, and digital processing electronics, a single low-cost sensor system can be designed to provide relative position and anti-collision information. For additional reliability, the design will not involve any moving parts. By making this sensor system modular, and with a simple-to-use serial interface, it could be used in many varying robotics applications including, but not limited to, autonomous planetary surface rovers and semi-autonomous free-flying space station inspection robots.
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