LiDAR Will Protect You from Autonomous Systems


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As integration of both autonomous drones and driverless cars in our societies approaches, the race to safety in both industries increases, as to keep autonomous machines from colliding with humans. For this purpose, the smallest LiDAR for unmanned system applications was recently developed.

The product was developed by a Silicon Valley-based firm developing LiDAR applications for autonomous cars and small drones, along with industrial and mapping applications.

The company, Cepton Technologies, developed the SORA 200, which is a long-range, high-resolution and low-cost 3D LiDAR sensor for mapping with UAVs.

According to Wei Wei, Senior Director of Business Development of Cepton, “our goal is to build low cost, low weight LiDAR sensors for a variety of industries, including UAVs and driverless cars,” he told “Most of our competitors are legacy companies that are trying to adapt their bulky and expensive technology to the small drone market. Our approach is radically different since we’re starting from scratch and creating 3D images in real time, thus allowing the vehicles to have a perfect 360 degree view of their surroundings. Our patented Micro Motion Technology or MMT allows us the flexibility to achieve these goals.”

The company also dedicates some of the R&D efforts to create and improve specialized LiDARs for mapping.

“The SORA 200 delivers long-range, high-resolution and low-cost mapping capabilities to aerial or ground-based vehicles,” Wei said. “At 550 grams, the SORA 200 can be deployed in situations where payload weight matters. Its light weight enables UAVs to fly longer trips. With scanning range of 200 meters, the SORA 200 allows UAVs to scan at higher altitudes, avoid obstacles and cover more ground. At a 200-hertz frame rate, UAVs equipped with the SORA 200 can operate faster while maintaining high-density map data acquisition, suitable for a wide variety of UAVs including fixed-wing and quadcopters.”