Today LeddarTech announced its modular Vu8 LiDAR sensor. The Vu8 is one of the first solid-state LiDAR sensors available for purchase, listing at a price of $475.
But that might not even be the most revolutionary thing about it.
The Vu8 is a compact solid-state LiDAR sensor that detects targets at a range of up to 215 meters and weighs 75 grams. According to LeddarTech, the Vu8 LiDAR is “immune to ambient light” and was designed to provide “highly accurate multi-target detection over eight independent segments.”
These specs make it ideal for autonomous vehicles, UAV collision-avoidance, and even 360° 3D mapping.
Here’s where it gets interesting: The Vu8 sensor is built on the LeddarVu modular sensor platform. This platform enables users to swap out various parts of the sensor module as necessary. In other words, the Vu8 is adaptable to your application.
LeddarVu Platform Details
“Sensors built on the LeddarVu platform offer a high degree of modularity,” explains LeddarTech. “This capability to develop various optical and mechanical design combinations provides unique integration flexibility and makes it possible to customize the sensor’s specifications to the requirements of specific end-markets.”
In the case of the Vu8 module, the platform parts break down as follows:
- A carrier board (which hosts the electrical and communications interface)
- An infrared laser emitter
- An optical receiver assembly (which hosts the Leddar signal processing algorithms)
- An internal processor (called the LeddarCore IC)
The most obvious way users can customize the sensor is by swapping in different optical components. For this purpose, LeddarTech offers a range of laser emitters with different fields of view and different orientations. Users can also swap in optical units from other suppliers.
Swapping out the internal processing unit offers even greater potential benefits. As LeddarTech develops new processors, users can drop them into existing sensor modules to improve performance.
How much will performance improve? The company estimates that newer generations of its processing unit will “deliver ranges reaching 250 meters, fields of view up to 140°, and up to 480,000 points per second (with a resolution down to 0.25° both horizontal and vertical.”
“With better range, smaller form factor and the added value of modularity, our clients will benefit from a wider choice of configurations than ever before, along with increased ease of integration into their applications,” explained Michael Poulin, LeddarTech’s Director of product management. “LeddarVu represents a powerful base for a whole new generation of compact Leddar sensors.”