Sunday, September 12, 2010

Embedded vision system from TYZX selected by iRobot military unmanned ground vehicles

by John McHale

iRobot Corp. in Beford, Mass., chose the DeepSea G3 Embedded Vision System (EVS) from TYZX in Menlo Park, Calif., to provide real-time vision and depth perception for selected new developments in autonomous military robots.

The G3 is about the size of a hardback book and processes high-resolution image data at as many as 60 frames per second, while consuming minimal power. Onboard image processing delivers minimal latency, ensuring that unmanned system applications receive highly accurate range data fast enough to take action, TXYZ officials say. 

For iRobot unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), the TYZX G3 EVS provides enhanced situational awareness via 3D visualization. Standard monocular cameras provide video footage that is flat, sometimes making it difficult for a robot operator to judge distance. 3D visualization provides depth perception and a more detailed view of the environment, TXYZ officials say.

iRobot engineers are developing advanced autonomous navigation algorithms to demonstrate person following capabilities that will make use of the G3 EVS.

TYZX G3 systems also support autonomous obstacle detection and obstacle avoidance (ODOA) for complex vertical structures. ODOA technology enables robots to navigate through buildings and difficult terrain.

"TYZX solutions have proven they can provide the high-resolution, low-latency sensor data that are essential for autonomous military robots," says Tom Wagner, senior vice president and chief technological officer for iRobot. "For UGV applications, the TYZX G3 offers important benefits that were also offered by the G2, such as passive sensing, onboard processing and a lack of moving parts. The G3 offers additional advantages, such as higher resolution and frame rates, as well as lower latency and lower power. We look forward to making use of the G3's robust capabilities."

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