LiDAR for Logistics Mobile Robots
Author： Neuvition, IncRelease time：2022-03-15 01:26:59
In recent years, mobile robots, unmanned forklifts, AGVs, and unmanned logistics vehicles represented have been widely used with the development of smart logistics and the increasing demands for automation, intelligence, and unmanned operation. The continuous development of LiDAR technology is a critical prerequisite for logistics mobile robots to achieve automated and unmanned operations. In addition, the safety of the logistics mobile robot and the safety of people and other equipment in the surrounding environment during the working of the logistics mobile robot is also inseparable from the LiDAR. LiDAR is like the “eyes” of these devices and guarantees their safe and efficient operation. As the core sensor of logistics mobile robots, LiDAR has also ushered in rapid development.
LiDAR (LiDAR / Laser Radar) is the abbreviation of laser detection and ranging system, which emits laser beams to detect the position, speed, and other characteristic quantities of targets. LiDAR is widely used in the Advanced Driving Assistance System (ADAS) due to its high resolution, strong anti-active jamming ability, good low-altitude detection performance, small size, and lightweight. The working principle of LiDAR is to transmit a detection signal (laser beam) to the target, and then to compare the received signal (target echo) reflected from the targets with the transmitted signal; and after proper processing, the relevant information of the targets can be collected, such as target distance, azimuth, altitude, speed, attitude, and even shape and other parameters, to detect, track and identify the target.
Types of LiDAR
To put it simply, the basic functions of LiDAR include measurement and scanning. Based on large-area measurement and scanning, it can realize map construction and obstacle detection within a certain range for collision avoidance and obstacle avoidance. In recent years, with the continuous development of LiDAR technology and the sharp drop in cost, LiDAR has become increasingly widely used in applications such as intelligent logistics, autonomous driving, and V2X.
In logistics, LiDAR is mainly used in logistics mobile robots such as robots, AGVs, and unmanned forklifts, which play the role of navigation and obstacle avoidance. Therefore, from the functional point of view, there are two main categories of LiDAR used for logistics mobile robots.
1. Navigation LiDAR
The technical threshold of navigation-based LiDAR is relatively high, requiring certain precision and angular resolution (referring to the resolution capability of an imaging system or a component of the system). Its main function is to build a map, to process real-time scanning of the surrounding environment during the walking process of the logistics mobile robot, and to match the originally-generated map to determine the location of the logistics mobile robot, to help the robot to walk according to the specified path. Navigation LiDARs are usually installed at high positions, such as on the top of forklift AGVs and other equipment. They also have long-distance obstacle detection and anti-collision functions. However, due to the high installation position, obstacle avoidance functions are limited.
2. Obstacle avoidance (safety protection) LiDAR
It is usually installed around the body of the logistics mobile robot (on both sides of the front of the car). Through the linkage with the vehicle body, when an obstacle is detected, the system can control the logistics mobile robot to slow down or to stop, to achieve the purpose of obstacle avoidance safety protection. The technical threshold of obstacle avoidance LiDAR is generally lower than that of navigation radar, but its requirements for target recognition ability are relatively high.
At present, the mainstream products for logistics mobile robots are mainly mechanical LiDAR and hybrid solid-state LiDAR. The LiDARs usually installed around the body mainly include 2D single-line mechanical LiDAR, multi-line mechanical LiDAR, and hybrid solid-state LiDAR. The latter two can realize 3D three-dimensional security protection for unmanned forklifts, AGVs, and logistics mobile robots.
After the LiDAR collects point cloud data (including the distance and intensity of points), SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) navigation can also be realized. However, it is difficult to obtain the 3D point cloud data of the entire object in one scanning, because the scanning beam of the LiDAR is blocked by the object. The operation needs to scan multiple times from different positions and angles. In addition, mechanical LiDAR also includes multi-line LiDAR and single-line LiDAR. Indoor logistics mobile robots mostly use single-line LiDAR. Multi-line LiDAR is mostly used in outdoor logistics mobile robots, such as unmanned logistics vehicles, and heavy-duty transfer AGVs between different factories, used in conjunction with GPS and other equipment to meet the needs of different scenarios.
Neuvition S2 flash LiDAR
Titan S2 is the first flash LiDAR product in the Neuvition LiDAR family! S2 is specially designed for indoor close-range application scenarios mainly including supermarket flow statistics, privacy protection monitoring, security detection, indoor 3D imaging, volume measurement in trucks, industrial machine vision, AMR/AGV/RGV obstacle avoidance, etc.
Compared with similar LiDAR products based on pure solid-state LiDAR technology and the same-range detection on the market, the advantages of Titan S2 are as follows:
High resolution, long detection distance, high precision, large field of view, with camera