DJI-Backed Livox Unveils New Lidar Tech at CES 2020

 In Cyber/ICT, Air, Space, Environment

As you’d expect, DJI has a big pres­ence at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But on top of show­ing off the company’s hard­ware lineup and hand­held imag­ing sys­tems, the drone industry’s lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­er is intro­duc­ing a suc­cess story from its Open Innovation Program: Livox. 

Livox has big ambi­tions in the lidar sensor space. At CES 2020, the start­up is intro­duc­ing two new sen­sors and a new method of lidar scan­ning which, it claims, is set to deliv­er “better sens­ing per­for­mance at a frac­tion of the cost of tra­di­tion­al lidar units.”

The aim is to make lidar easier and more afford­able to inte­grate into prod­ucts and appli­ca­tions. Livox has eyes on every­thing from autonomous dri­ving to smart cities, map­ping and mobile robot­ics. 

Livox’s lidar tech­nol­o­gy uses a new Non-Repetitive Scanning pat­tern. The method offers sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits over the tra­di­tion­al Repetitive Linear Scanning pat­tern favored by other lidar sensor providers.

Livox’ unique non-repetitive scanning patterns vs. a traditional mechanical linear scanning pattern.

The envi­ron­ment scanned by a Livox sensor increas­es as the laser explores new spaces within its Field of View (FOV). As seen in the image above, a Livox Mid-40 or Mid-100 sensor gen­er­ates a flower-like scan­ning pat­tern to create a 3D image of the sur­round­ing envi­ron­ment. Image fideli­ty increas­es rapid­ly over time.

The image above also shows the com­par­i­son of how con­ven­tion­al lidar sen­sors gen­er­ate images: with hor­i­zon­tal linear scan­ning, which can run the risk of blind spots and cause some objects in their FOV to remain unde­tect­ed, regard­less of how long the scan lasts. With Lidar an impor­tant part of the future of autonomous sys­tems, accu­rate obsta­cle detec­tion is cru­cial. 

Livox’s scan­ning method enables nearly 100% FOV cov­er­age with longer inte­gra­tion time – a fea­ture the com­pa­ny claims doesn’t exist in any market alter­na­tives today at this price point. 

Livox’s new Lidar sensors target the mass market

Today Livox has unveiled two new sen­sors, the Horizon and the Tele-15.

The Horizon has a detec­tion range of up to 260 meters with a hor­i­zon­tal FOV (HFOV) of 81.7° which can cover 4 road lanes at a dis­tance of 10 meters and its FOV cov­er­age ratio is com­pa­ra­ble with a 64-line mechan­i­cal lidar at the inte­gra­tion time of 0.1 sec. Using just five Horizon units enable full 360° cov­er­age with only 5% of the cost of a 64-line mechan­i­cal lidar. 

The Tele-15 can scan 99.8% area within its 15° cir­cu­lar FOV at 0.1s which out­per­forms 128-line mechan­i­cal lidar sen­sors cur­rent­ly avail­able on the market. It can also suc­cess­ful­ly detect an object up to 500 meters away, which is hardly achiev­able by human eyes or other sen­sors at this cost.

Livox sen­sors are able to pro­vide a com­pa­ra­ble solu­tion at 1% of the price of cur­rent market alter­na­tives because the design requires fewer high-cost com­po­nents and does not use any expen­sive laser emit­ters or MEMS scan­ners. 

“The growth poten­tial of the lidar indus­try has been hin­dered for too long by ultra-high costs and slow man­u­fac­tur­ing rates,” said Henri Deng, Global Marketing Director at Livox.

“Livox seeks to change this by pro­vid­ing access to high-qual­i­ty lidar sys­tems that are easily inte­grat­ed into a wide array of dif­fer­ent use appli­ca­tions. Through our tech­nol­o­gy, we hope to be the cat­a­lyst for the rapid adop­tion of lidar in the quick­ly grow­ing indus­tries of autonomous dri­ving, mobile robot­ics, map­ping, sur­vey­ing and more.”

DJI’s Open Innovation Program Bears Fruit

Through its Open Innovation Initiative, DJI pro­vides promis­ing star­tups with guid­ance, resources and finan­cial sup­port to solve indus­try chal­lenges with new tech­nol­o­gy. Livox is one of the first suc­cess sto­ries to come through the pro­gram.  

“Over the past 13 years, it has been DJI’s core mis­sion to make advanced tech­nol­o­gy easy-to-use, safe and acces­si­ble, which we have accom­plished most notably through our lead­ing con­sumer and com­mer­cial drone prod­uct port­fo­lio,” said Roger Luo, President at DJI.

“Livox was born from that same mis­sion and pas­sion for inno­va­tion. It is a ded­i­cat­ed team, first incu­bat­ed within DJI, whose objec­tive is to expand the appli­ca­tion of our core tech­nolo­gies, and break bar­ri­ers to the autonomous world, by work­ing with the thriv­ing ecosys­tem of inno­va­tors in mobile robot­ics to autonomous dri­ving and beyond.”

Malek Murison is a free­lance writer and editor with a pas­sion for tech trends and inno­va­tion. He han­dles prod­uct reviews, major releas­es and keeps an eye on the enthu­si­ast market for DroneLife.
Email Malek
Twitter:@malekmurison

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Source: DroneLife

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