• TMF8821 can output multiple point distance values, enabling the robot to perform obstacle avoidance, fall prevention, and assisted mapping capabilities;
• TMF8821 boasts exceptional range finding performance and excellent resistance to sunlight interference, enabling reliable detection in various lighting environments;
• TMF8821 has simple production line calibration, which is completed in a single step;
• ZLG provides algorithmic technology support to optimize functionality.
This robot, supported by algorithmic technology provided by ZLG and equipped with TMF8821 sensors from ams OSRAM, features automatic obstacle avoidance, fall prevention, and assisted mapping capabilities.
With increasingly mature AI technology, companion robots are gradually entering domestic settings and becoming a significant factor in strengthening parent-child relationships. For a domestic robot, effective obstacle avoidance is a key prerequisite for achieving safe movement and intelligent caregiving. However, various challenges arise within household environments, including diverse layouts and a large number of dynamic obstacles. Consequently, robots often encounter challenges such as inaccurate perception and unclear path planning when in operation. To address these challenges, ams OSRAM and Guangzhou ZLG have engaged in a cooperation, aiming to empower Enabot to launch its new domestic companion robot EBO X that can provide better obstacle avoidance capabilities and mobility flexibility.
Each EBO X robot is equipped with two TMF8821 sensors from ams OSRAM, which are true direct Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors and processing systems, and integrate a 940 nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL), a high-sensitivity Single-Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) array, precision Time to Digital Converters (TDC), and a low-power microcontroller subsystem into a modular package. The size of this sensor is only 2.0 mm x 4.6 mm x 1.4 mm, making it highly suitable for applications where size constraints play a major role.
The TMF8821 sensor offers flexibility in its multi-zone configurations (3x3; 4x4; 3x6), allowing for an adjustable field of view with a maximum field of view of up to 63° diagonally. Alternatively, users can opt for a customized receiving area as required, thus enabling the adjustment of the size of each receiving area. Additionally, the sensor adopts the anti-interference algorithms designed to compensate for the effects of dirt and smudges on glass or acrylic covers. In terms of communication, TMF8821 provides distance values and confidence levels directly through I²C reporting without the need for any external data processing! Furthermore, its power consumption is exceptionally low, with a standby current of just 13 µA. Additionally, the sensor incorporates advanced algorithms and wafer-level optical filters. This enables the sensor to deliver outstanding optical performance even in complex lighting conditions, such as intense sunlight.
In terms of the robot design, the ultra-compact size of the TMF8821 sensor ensures the robot's aesthetic appeal. Furthermore, ams OSRAM's dToF (direct Time-of-Flight) technology, with its excellent chromatic aberration resistance, enables the robot to confidently navigate over surfaces such as carpets and glass that may cause reflections. Compared to infrared-emission/receiver tube solutions, the range finding capability of TMF8821 from 10 to 5,000 mm allows the robot to detect height differences such as steps or tables from a greater distance and reminds the robot to brake in advance, thus effectively preventing falls. Moreover, the high-precision range finding capability and multi-zone detection of TMF8821 not only contribute to autonomous obstacle avoidance, but also facilitate the transmission of depth information to the main control unit. This enables the sensor to work in conjunction with cameras for V-SLAM mapping.
Richard Qin, Channel Manager at ams OSRAM, stated: "TMF8821 is one of the most outstanding ToF products in terms of performance at ams OSRAM, offering exceptional visual perception for applications such as robots. Thanks to its precise range finding capabilities across multiple zones and targets, TMF8821 enables robots to move without obstruction and navigate smoothly within their environment. Its compact size and ease of integration also provide customers with greater design flexibility."
Yang Liuyi, Product Manager at ZLG, commented: "We provided algorithmic support for the development of the TMF8821 sensor, optimizing its functionality to allow the more accurate acquisition of three-dimensional information and precise perception of environments. Thanks to the excellence of TMF8821, EBO X can more precisely identify the position, shape, and motion status of objects, thereby enhancing its action decisions and execution capabilities."
Mahe Yingsheng, CTO at Enabot, emphasized: "High-performance visual sensors are crucial for robots. TMF8821 from ams OSRAM perfectly aligns with our design requirements for EBO X. It can capture information in larger quantities and higher quality, significantly enhancing the environmental perception and allowing for the early detection and avoidance of potential obstacles, which makes it an ideal choice for domestic companion robots."
As a provider of intelligent robots, Enabot actively promotes technological progress and productization. The company's core team has been active in the field of robotics for many years, has rich experience in the design, development and launch of consumer-grade robot products, and has deep industry background resources. Enabot's mission is to design future-oriented robots through Artificial Intelligence (AI), launch them in the consumer field, and secure the soft landing of Key & Core technology.
Established in 1999, Guangzhou ZLG Co., Ltd (zlg.cn) focuses on providing chip solutions for industrial and automotive electronics users. The company offers professional technical and service support throughout the entire product lifecycle, from product selection and evaluation, development and design, testing and certification to mass production and anti-counterfeiting. ZLG has 22 sales offices and 2 technology research and development centers in China, delivering exceptional value to both customers and suppliers. ZLG has had broad expertise in various technologies for many years, including ToF sensors, color sensors, and capacitive sensors. Based on the chips from ams OSRAM, the company has developed a range of application solutions, such as water dispenser full cup detection, gesture recognition, and HOD, which can provide related software and hardware technology services.
About ams OSRAM
The ams OSRAM Group (ams-osram.com) is a global leader in intelligent sensors and emitters. By adding intelligence to light and passion to innovation, we enrich people’s lives.
With over 110 years of combined history, our core is defined by imagination, deep engineering expertise and the ability to provide global industrial capacity in sensor and light technologies. We create exciting innovations that enable our customers in the automotive, industrial, medical and consumer markets to maintain their competitive edge and drive innovation that meaningfully improves the quality of life in terms of health, safety and convenience, while reducing impact on the environment. Our around 20,000 employees worldwide focus on innovation across sensing, illumination and visualization to make journeys safer, medical diagnosis more accurate and daily moments in communication a richer experience. Our work creates technology for breakthrough applications, which is reflected in over 15,000 patents granted and applied. Headquartered in Premstaetten/Graz (Austria) with a co-headquarters in Munich (Germany), the group achieved over EUR 4.8 billion revenues in 2022 and is listed as ams-OSRAM AG on the SIX Swiss Exchange.