Researchers have developed the first silicon chip compact 3D LiDAR imaging system that can match and exceed the performance and accuracy of most advanced, mechanical systems currently used.
3D LiDAR can provide accurate imaging and mapping for many applications; it is the “eyes” for autonomous cars and is used in facial recognition software and by autonomous robots and drones. Accurate imaging is essential for machines to map and interact with the physical world but the size and costs of the technology currently needed has limited LIDAR’s use in commercial applications.
Now a team of researchers has developed a new, integrated system, which uses silicon photonic components and CMOS electronic circuits in the same microchip (silicon chip). The prototype they have developed would be a low-cost solution and could pave the way to large volume production of low-cost, compact, and high-performance 3D imaging cameras for use in robotics, autonomous navigation systems, mapping of building sites to increase safety and in healthcare.