A TOF (Time of Flight) sensor uses the flight time of light to measure the distance to an object. It is equipped with a circuit that is not easily affected by external light thanks to its modulated light system.
OMRON's TOF sensor has four features: ambient light immunity, high precision, long life, and interference prevention. In particular, the feature of ambient light immunity makes it possible to measure the distance of a detected object from near to far, from low reflectance to high reflectance, regardless of whether it is exposed to strong sunlight or not.
It is ideal for applications such as AMR/Service robots and long-term care observation.
What is a TOF Sensor?
Differences Between Conventional 2D Cameras and 3D TOF Sensor
Differences from conventional cameras
The use of extensive distance information enables the sensor to identify its peripheral environment.
Features of OMRON's 3D TOF Sensor
(1) Ambient light immunity
- Using OMRON's B5L TOF Sensor, we compared the measured distances of detected objects indoors and outdoors. Detection objects whose upper half were black and lower half were white, and placed them at 1m, 2m, and 4m, respectively. The black color assumes a low-reflectance object with little reflected light over a long distance, while the white color assumes a high-reflectance object that is easily saturated over a short distance.
- Measurements taken outdoors and indoors with OMRON's B5L TOF Sensor show that there is no significant difference in the measurement distance between black (low reflectance) and white (high reflectance) objects placed at 1 to 4 meters.
In other words, the powerful ambient light immunity ensures stable detection performance of objects with low to high reflectance even in bright places.
(2) High precision
- The distance data of OMRON's B5L TOF Sensor is individually compensated in the process to achieve a high accuracy of ±2% at 2 meters, making it easy for customers to control and process the distance data in their devices.
(3) Long life
- Omron’s TOF Sensor has long life equivalent to 5 years under continuous driving.∗1
Three measures have been implemented to extend the service life:
- Highly-reliable and long-life components used in Factory Automation applications
- LED light-emitting circuit with LED current under a constant-current circuit configuration that is not affected by the operating environment or power supply voltage
- Ensured heat dissipation by a heat sink to reduce the heat generated by electronic components and keep them below a certain temperature
When the 3D TOF sensor is used as the eye of a machine, periphery recognition is possible by recognizing the volume and shape of the three-dimensional space, tracking the traffic lines, and understanding the behavior.
The 3D TOF sensor outputs distance data pixel by pixel for periphery recognition.
For safe and efficient operation of AMR/Service robots, the sensor can be used for obstacle detection and shape recognition.
Behavioral understanding and observation
of patients under long-term care
The sensor can be used to reduce the burden of patrolling and monitoring, as there is a need to address labor shortage in the nursing care industry and the need to save manpower in a rapidly aging society. The TOF sensor can be used to monitor the condition of the person being cared for without invasion of privacy and even under conditions equivalent to 100,000 lux of sunlight intensity.
Logistics and conveyance
The sensor can be used for volume and shape measurement and empty space detection in logistics and conveyance.
Counting people and tracking traffic flows
In automatic doors and elevators, the sensor can be used to count the number of people and track the traffic flow.