RoboSense LiDAR, the Chinese company that is the leading Smart LiDAR Sensor provider announced the second-generation intelligent solid-state LiDAR RS-LiDAR-M1 (referred to as “M1”) completed mass production and delivery to the designated project for the first time. Since the start of production (SOP) to vehicle manufacturer in June 2021, more than ten batches of deliveries have been completed. This is the first mass production of solid-state LiDAR in the world, and also marks the advent of “an era of mass production for LiDAR”.
As the world’s leading Smart LiDAR Sensor provider, RoboSense has completed iterations of five major and dozens of smaller versions on the smart solid-state LiDAR project in the past five years. Not only was it the first to implement the SOP version globally, but after the SOP was launched in Q2 2021, it leads the industry and achieved the first mass production delivery of the second-generation smart solid-state LiDAR.
M1 has smart software and hardware features under its small size appearance. In terms of smart hardware, M1 is based on the revolutionary two-dimensional MEMS smart chip scanning architecture, and has a unique “GAZE” function, which can adjust the scanning method according to the driving scene, improve the LiDAR perception ability, help enhance the automatic driving performance. In terms of smart software, M1 can be equipped with mature and embeddable point cloud AI perception algorithms.
At the same time, M1 guarantees the safety and reliability of point cloud data quality in various driving scenarios through a series of patented technologies, eliminates thorny problems in the industry from the product side, and built-in complete supporting functions such as OTA upgrade, stain detection, smart cleaning, smart heating, performance detection, power management, network management, etc. It has achieved SIL-2 and ASIL-B functional safety levels to help the vehicle perception system achieve ASIL-D functional safety design.
Now the company is looking at the application of autonomous driving LiDAR to Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV).
In the early times, AGV needed track navigation, such as steel track navigation, electromagnetic navigation, magnetic nail navigation, etc., and the deployment and construction cost of navigation facilities were high. Since the 21st century, 2D LiDAR backed natural navigation technologies gained momentum in the AGV field, and navigation technologies such as QR code were introduced at the same time, further reducing unmanned forklifts’ dependence on site facilities and cost of facility deployment and maintenance. But it was still in the “weak facility navigation” mode.
2D LiDAR, i.e. single-beam LiDAR, can scan only one surface. There’s no height information in the imaging results and it’s difficult to identify hanging obstacles. Moreover, it is not sensitive to the shelf placement position changes, resulting in insufficient flexibility of forklifts. This technology can only be applied to indoor scenarios with relatively simple and fixed layout, but struggles to meet the storage flexibility needs.
The increasingly urgent demand for intelligence in the industry and logistics and storage challenged the AGV industry to achieve higher flexibility, universality, safety and reliability. In response, global leading forklift enterprises including HikRobot, Agilox, Seegrid, etc. started to invested in the better-performing 3D LiDAR navigation and obstacle avoidance technology, bringing a new round of navigation technology upgrade to the industry.
As the company explained, 3D LiDAR is equivalent to the integration of multiple 2D LiDARs. It can transmit and receive multiple lasers simultaneously to realize 3D imaging, and is widely used in the field of autonomous driving. As the industry grows and demands escalate, 16-beam, 32-beam and other LiDAR products have been gradually applied to the field of AGV.
Equipped with 3D LiDAR, the AGV’s perception ability will be greatly enhanced to achieve higher peak efficiency, operation accuracy and adaptability to indoor and outdoor complex scenarios in single vehicle operations, to realize flexible and intelligent applications and promote the intelligent transformation of warehouse & storage and logistics.
Navigation solutions of AGV currently available on the market are mainly applicable to indoor scenarios. But in reality, in addition to the logistics inside the warehouse, the handling and transportation, loading and unloading operations between the warehouse and outdoor containers are also important links. Both indoor and outdoor scenarios need to be addressed to realize high-efficiency one-stop operation of AGV.
With the development of unmanned forklift navigation and obstacle avoidance algorithm technology and the sharp decline in 3D LiDAR cost in recent years, the AGV industry is attempting to integrate and realize both functions in one LiDAR, which can reduce the number of LiDARs carried by forklifts to reduce cost on the one hand, and help achieve superior navigation and obstacle avoidance performance by using the higher-performance 3D LiDAR and 3D SLAM technology on the other.
Its spokesperson, Grace Ye, said RoboSense provides clients with continuously upgraded smart LiDAR system product solutions, jointly advance the evolution of smart driving experience, and accelerate the transformation and innovation of smart vehicle ecology. Promoting automated driving and advanced assisted driving passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, logistics vehicles, robots, public smart transportation, and vehicle-road collaboration to achieve large-scale commercial use steadily and quickly.
Domestic LiDAR enterprises represented by RoboSense are entering the AGV market. As the leader in smart LiDAR, RoboSense has been recognized by and established nominated cooperation with multiple car enterprises including BYD, Lotus Cars, WM Motor and ZEEKR for more than 40 models in the field of intelligent driving. At present, RoboSense’s two medium and low speed autonomous driving LiDAR products, RS-Bpearl and RS-Helios, have obtained orders from domestic and overseas leading enterprises including SEER, Mooe Robot, Agilox and Seegrid, and become the rising stars of the global AGV industry.
RoboSense (Suteng Innovation Technology Co., Ltd.) is a world leading provider of Smart LiDAR Sensor Systems. It incorporates LiDAR sensors, AI algorithms and IC chipsets that transform conventional 3D LiDAR sensors to full data analysis and comprehension systems. The company’s mission is to produce outstanding hardware and artificial intelligence capabilities to provide smart solutions that enable robots (including vehicles) to have perception capability superior to humans.