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Lumotive partners with Hokuyo to ‘revolutionize’ 3D lidar sensing

01 Jun 2023

LCM Optical Semiconductor tech for robotics and autonomous systems suited to industrial automation.

Lumotive, the Seattle-based startup company developing beam-steering semiconductor chips based on optical metasurfaces, and Hokuyo Automatic, a global developer of sensor and automation technology, have announced a multi-year production contract.

The partners this week stated, “This partnership will expedite the deployment of essential sensor technology in robotics and autonomous systems applications.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Utilizing Lumotive’s solid-state LCM Optical Semiconductor beam steering chip, Hokuyo is preparing to produce a 3D lidar sensor based on Lumotive’s M30 reference design targeted for industrial applications.

The planned new product “is expected to surpass conventional mechanical lidar and time of flight camera technology, fostering progress in automated guided vehicles, autonomous mobile robots, and other industrial applications.” Hokuyo is using Lumotive’s manufacturing partners and engineering expertise to take its sensing products to market faster.

Robotics, materials handling, and industrial automation

Hokuyo, which manufactures industrial automation sensors, including lidar sensors for robotics, materials handling, and other industrial automation applications, said it chose Lumotive’s LCM technology for its digital beam-steering capabilities, which enable the company to produce 3D sensing solutions that are more accurate, reliable, and cost-effective than current offerings.

Lumotive’s technology is based on semiconductor manufacturing technology, yielding solid-state metasurface beam steering chips ready for mass production. Its LCM chips enable miniaturization, lower costs, and higher reliability compared to existing scanning lidar solutions, the company claims.

The large field of view and extended range in a compact form of the Lumotive-enabled solid-state 3D lidar sensors enable integration into diverse machinery applications including outdoors. Software-defined scan modes enable customization to specific tasks, such as precise object tracking on production lines or efficient navigation for AMRs.

Hokuyo’s President, Hitoshi Ozaki, commented, “We believe that Lumotive’s LCM optical semiconductor technology will be a game-changer for industrial automation market. It delivers a new level of miniaturization, performance and reliability, which will enable us to expand our business with 3D sensing solutions that could not be realized with conventional lidar scanning technology.”

Dr. Sam Heidari, CEO of Lumotive, said, “We are eager to move forward with Hokuyo Automatic in incorporating our LCM technology into our first industrial automation application. Hokuyo Automatic’s expertise in industrial automation and sensor technology makes them an ideal partner to accelerate the adoption of our ground-breaking LCM semiconductor technology.”

SOSLAB working on built-in lidar lamp with car lamp maker SL Corp.

SOSLAB, a developer of 3D lidar hardware and software, and SL Corp., a global automotive lamps manufacturer, have entered into a technology development contract for the core lidar technologies and products with the aim of mass production.

Through distribution of its lidar hardware and software system parts, SOSLAB will provide autonomous driving and state-of-the-art safety functions for SL Corp.’s automotive lamps. Based on the functions, SL Corporation is currently developing a lidar built-in lamp. The long-term goal of these companies is to supply the lidar built-in lamp to various vehicle models.

At the CES 2023 expo in Las Vegas, SOSLAB presented lidar data with a live demonstration of ML-X, a lidar product, applied to lamps of Hyundai’s GV80. Compared to the existing products, the distance performance and resolution of ML-X have been more than doubled, say the partners. The size has also been reduced.

Universe Kogaku America Inc.AlluxaHÜBNER PhotonicsCeNing Optics Co LtdLASEROPTIK GmbHSPECTROGON ABABTech
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