Mar 10, 2022

Tiny switches give solid-state LiDAR record resolution

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

When Google unveiled its first autonomous cars in 2010, the spinning cylinder mounted on the roofs really stood out. It was the vehicle’s light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system, which worked like light-based radar. Together with cameras and radar, LiDAR mapped the environment to help these cars avoid obstacles and drive safely.

Since a then, inexpensive, chip-based cameras and have moved into the mainstream for collision avoidance and autonomous highway driving. Yet, LiDAR navigation systems remain unwieldy mechanical devices that cost thousands of dollars.

That may be about to change, thanks to a new type of high-resolution LiDAR chip developed by Ming Wu, professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and co-director of the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center at the University of California, Berkeley. The new design appears Wednesday, March 9, in the journal Nature.

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