Quicker is not always better, especially when it comes to a 3-D sensor in advanced technology. With applications in autonomous vehicles, robots and drones, security systems and more, researchers are striving for a 3-D sensor that is compact and easy to use.
A team from Yokohama National University in Japan believes they have developed a method to obtain such a sensor by taking advantage of slow light, an unexpected move in a field where speed is often valued above other variables.
Light detection and ranging, also called LiDAR, sensors can map the distance between distant objects and more using laser light. In modern LiDAR sensors, many of the systems are composed of a laser source; a photodetector, which converts light into current; and an optical beam steering device, which directs the light into the proper location.