Optical distance measuring sensors utilize light in various ways to accurately measure the distance between the sensor and an object. These sensors are available in different types, including those designed for simple distance measurement to a single dominant object within the sensor's field of view, as well as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) devices that excel at mapping the distances to nearby objects surrounding the sensor.
For simple distance measurement, optical sensors typically use techniques such as time-of-flight (ToF), triangulation, or phase-shift measurement. These methods involve emitting a light signal, such as a laser or infrared beam, towards the target object and measuring the time it takes for the signal to bounce back to the sensor. By calculating the elapsed time and knowing the speed of light, the sensor can determine the distance to the object.
In ToF-based sensors, a modulated light signal is emitted, and the time taken for the signal to return is measured. Triangulation-based sensors use a laser or LED to project a light spot onto the target object, and the displacement of the spot on a sensor determines the distance. Phase-shift measurement relies on measuring the phase difference between the emitted and received light signals to determine distance.
LiDAR devices, on the other hand, employ more advanced technology for mapping the distances to multiple objects surrounding the sensor. These devices emit laser pulses and precisely measure the time it takes for the pulses to return after reflecting off different objects in the environment. By analyzing the return signals, LiDAR sensors create detailed 3D maps of the surroundings, providing accurate distance measurements to various objects.
Optical distance measuring sensors find applications in a wide range of fields, including robotics, automation, autonomous vehicles, industrial monitoring, and more. They enable precise distance measurement, object detection, collision avoidance, and spatial mapping, contributing to improved safety and efficiency in many industries.
In summary, optical distance measuring sensors utilize light-based techniques such as ToF, triangulation, or phase-shift measurement to accurately measure the distance between the sensor and an object. Some sensors focus on simple distance measurement to a dominant object, while others, such as LiDAR devices, excel at mapping distances to multiple objects in the sensor's surroundings. These sensors find applications in various industries, enabling precise measurements, object detection, and spatial mapping.