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Electrical and Computer Engineering
Environment perception is crucial for the safe navigation of vehicles and robots to detect obstacles in their surroundings. It is also of paramount interest for navigation of human beings in reduced visibility conditions. Obstacle avoidance systems typically combine multiple sensing technologies (i.e., LiDAR, radar, ultrasound and visual) to detect various types of obstacles under different lighting and weather conditions, with the drawbacks of a given technology being offset by others. These systems require powerful computational capability to fuse the mass of data, which limits their use to high-end vehicles and robots. INSPEX delivers a low-power, small-size and lightweight environment perception system that is compatible with portable and/or wearable applications. This requires miniaturizing and optimizing existing range sensors of different technologies to meet the user’s requirements in terms of obstacle detection capabilities. These sensors consist of a LiDAR, a time-of-flight sensor, an ultrasound and an ultra-wideband radar with measurement ranges respectively of 10 m, 4 m, 2 m and 10 m. Integration of a data fusion technique is also required to build a model of the user’s surroundings and provide feedback about the localization of harmful obstacles. As primary demonstrator, the INSPEX device will be fixed on a white cane.
Foucault, J. et al., 2019. INSPEX: Optimize Range Sensors for Environment Perception as a Portable System. Sensors, 19(19), p.4350. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s19194350.