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Design and implementation of a 3D laser scanner is no simple task, but the engineers at Ocular Robotics have done a commendable job with theirs.  They have developed the RobotEye™ sensor pointing platform for use in mining applications, civil and defense UAV applications, homeland security applications and general robotics applications that are directly dependent on the dynamic performance.

RobotEye’s agility and responsiveness, its viewing range in both azimuth and elevation, and its reliability offers a ground- breaking contribution to robotic platform capability unmatched by current solutions.  The RobotEye RE02 is a high performance, short range two-axis laser range scanner. The scanner has a  signal path altered to accommodate the output and return signals of a commercial laser range finder which samples up to 200kHz to generate dense point clouds of the environment in the vicinity of robotic vehicles both indoors and outdoors, as well as object and environment reconstruction tasks. The scan path flexibility of the RobotEye RE02 is unmatched by any other laser range scanning technology. All other laser range scanners have fixed pattern scans alterable only by changing the rotation rate of each axis. The RE02 is able to continuously vary its velocity controlled scan pattern to attain the desired point density and frame rate for a given situation as well as switch instantaneously to its arbitrary or structured path mode where regions may be scanned with any arbitrarily defined scan path. These behaviours are made possible by the dynamic performance capabilities of the RobotEye technology and are implemented using the motion modes available on the controller such as 2D contouring, linear and circular interpolated vector segments and direct velocity control. In addition the controller has ample I/O to control and synchronise with system events. RobotEye system components such as the brushless DC direct drive torque motors and high resolution magnetic encoders were selected to meet the performance and operational environment requirements of the demanding environments in the defense, natural resources exploration and homeland security sectors.  The sensors, drive components and control electronics remain stationary and below the housing of the platform to which the system is mounted. The portion of the system that protrudes above the housing is environmentally sealed to a high degree,  preventing entry of contaminants into the system.  The system is designed to require little preventative maintenance in the harshest of environments.

Above is a Full Field and Region Scan Demo – shows RobotEye initially executing full field and region scanning behaviors with a laser pointer used to assist in visualising the motion (the actual rangefinder uses an infrared laser diode), followed by display of a point cloud dataset acquired by a RobotEye RE02 executing the same motion. The dataset is displayed raw as acquired from the sensor and was collected at a sample rate of 10kHz with the maximum possible sample rate from the sensor being 200kHz. For more information about the laser rangefinder used in the RobotEye scanning system, please contact the manufacturer, Acuity. For more information about the RobotEye system, please directly contact Ocular Robotics:

Ocular Robotics Pty Ltd, Level 3, 12-14 Ormonde Pde, Hurstville,  NSW 2220, Australia Phone: +61 2 8021 5078

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