3D Time-of-Flight sensor module boosts accuracy

October 08, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
3D Time-of-Flight sensor module boosts accuracy
Omron's BL5 ToF sensor ranges entire field of view at up to 20 fps for mobile guidance and moving-object detection

Omron Electronic Components Europe has launched a precision time of flight ranging sensor module with positioning, autonomous-guidance, and proximity sensing for a wide range of applications.

The B5L 3D TOF (Time-of-Flight) Sensor Module operates on the proven time-of-flight principle. It calculates distances to objects in real time by measuring the round-trip time for near-infrared radiation from the module’s emitter to be reflected from objects in the field of view and return to the receiver. The B5L Series features a unique optical design technology for the stable measurement of three-dimensional distance information across a wide area even in sub-optimal conditions such as in sunlight. It runs up to 20 frames per second and is intended for long periods of continuous operation to allow it to be used as an embedded sensor in various instruments.

The 103mm x 43mm module comes with a 24V DC power connector and Micro-USB communication port, offering easy integration and flexibility for embedded-systems designers. Featuring a 940nm near-infrared emitter and 240 x 320 pixel receiving array, the sensor gives ranging information for the entire field of view and measures the absolute distance to objects from 0.5m to 4m. The module offers ±2 percent precision at a detection distance of 2m. Built-in temperature compensation simplifies its integration in autonomous robots and other equipment used in a variety of environments by eliminating the need for the design of separate compensation processing.

“Our new sensor is a “mechanical eye” that is capable of accurately and easily detecting the surrounding environment, which will contribute to the more widespread use of autonomous robots as well as the automation of various other machinery and equipment," said Gabriele Fulco, European Product Marketing Manager Sensors at Omron. "[The] B5L can be fitted to moving objects such as autonomous mobile robots, to provide real-time contextual information such as guidance, collision avoidance, and cliff detection. Alternatively, located in a fixed position, the sensor can accurately detect moving objects in the field of view.

Omron's time of flight (ToF) ranging sensor delivers a convenient, modular solution offering positioning, autonomous-guidance, and proximity sensing for a wide range of applications

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