Pitching as one of the eight finalist startups at EIT Digital's Cyber-Physical Systems Idea Challenge held in Paris, co-Founder and Managing Director Tobias Bahnemann attributed the tiny system a sensing range of 4 to 5 meters with a resolution down to 0.5cm, though he is confident he could reach a detection resolution down to 1mm by pushing signal processing further.
Bahnemann had brought with him a compact prototype packaged in a printed plastic enclosure only about 40x40x5mm in size. Weighing a mere 20 grams, the whole sensor solution combines a piezo-electric ultrasound emitter and three discrete piezo-electric transceivers. Signal patterns are emitted at 40kHz and the time-of-flight of all the echoes are picked up distinctively by the three transceivers, at a nanosecond-level time resolution.
"All of the hardware comes of-the-shelve", told us Bahnemann, "but the key IP resides in the clever algorithms we developed to perform a sort of reverse triangulation and translate the received signals into distance and shape attributes".
"These algorithms involve a lot of complicated Maths, yet with a simple hardware setup, we are able to acquire about 50,000 points per second", he commented, attributing the algorithms to co-founder and business partner Alexander Rudoy.