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Ibeo and SICK partner in ‘largest ever’ LiDAR co-operation agreement

Ibeo Automotive Systems and SICK Sensor Intelligence are partnering in what is described as the “largest ever LiDAR co-operation agreement”. The technology partnership between Hamburg-based automotive LiDAR specialist Ibeo and SICK will result in a 3D solid-state LiDAR sensor for industrial applications.

The technology, developed by Ibeo to automotive standards, is based on a new photon laser measurement technology and is entirely free of moving parts. An additional, camera-like reference image adds a “fourth dimension” to the measurement provided by the sensor.

The market for autonomous and semi-autonomous systems in an industrial context is predicted to grow at above-average rates. There is particular demand for durable, small, and cost-efficient sensor solutions.

The new solid-state technology from Ibeo works entirely without moving parts and features a compact form factor, thereby offering decisive advantages for mobile applications.

Now, Ibeo and SICK have announced a technology partnership to develop a 3D LiDAR sensor, based on this innovative solid-state technology from the automotive sector, for industrial applications.

In this partnership, Ibeo is providing its ibeoNEXT measurement core. SICK will develop the system design and the application software for a new industrial LiDAR sensor in order to solve industrial applications according to customer requirements.

Dr Robert Bauer, chairman of the executive board of SICK, says: “Autonomous systems will bring increasing changes to the industrial sector in the coming years.

“Even outside industrial facilities there is much potential in mobile applications for the implementation of intelligent sensor solutions. The partnership with Ibeo will enable us to use a robust and highly-developed technology from the automotive segment for future-oriented industrial applications.”

Dr Ulrich Lages, CEO of Ibeo Automotive Systems, says: “Together with SICK, we are making an automotive LiDAR sensor available on a large scale for industrial applications for the first time. In the industrial sector, this is one of the largest LiDAR cooperation agreements ever concluded.

“Customers will profit from ibeoNEXT’s close-to-production development based on automotive standards and the high quality standards that result from this, as well as the scale effects associated with it.

“We have had a long and close working relationship with SICK. Its extensive and in-depth application knowledge in the area of industrial applications and markets makes SICK an ideal partner to enable us to serve industrial markets.”

The ibeoNEXT measurement core was developed for large-scale automotive production and is based on an entirely new photon laser measurement technology for measuring the spatial distance of objects in medium to long ranges.

Even in adverse environmental conditions, such as precipitation, or in surroundings with high levels of shock or vibration, the ibeoNEXT measurement core reliably determines over 10,000 distance values from each 3D measurement.

It also generates a black-and-white image similar to the picture of a camera, which enables an even more reliable ‘four-dimensional’ detection of the surroundings.

Dr Kay Fürstenberg, senior vice-president for research and development at SICK, says: “We decided to use Ibeo’s solid-state LiDAR technology because it is currently one of the most advanced 3D LiDAR measurement systems available in the world.

“It is an addition to our technology portfolio and enables us to offer, on top of our existing industrial applications, new, easy-to-integrate solutions in the field of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving for use in the industrial sector.”

Selected customers of SICK will have the opportunity to test this new 3D solid-state LiDAR sensor in 2021.

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