February 25, 2024

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Indonesia: LiDAR’s Potential to Transform Robotics

LiDAR technology, a cutting-edge method employing laser light reflection to measure distances to objects on the Earth’s surface, took centre stage at the recent 42nd ORNAMAT webinar series on Laser Diode-based (LiDAR) technology and Optical Ranging. Dwi Hanto, a researcher from the Photonics Research Centre of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), shared insights into the latest advancements in LiDAR technology and potential applications across multiple domains.

Image credits: brin.go.id

Dwi elucidated the fundamental principle behind LiDAR, where a laser diode serves as the light source, emitting a beam directed towards an object. The reflected light from the object is then captured by a photodetector, enabling LiDAR to accurately detect and measure the distance to the object. This mechanism forms the basis for LiDAR’s utility in diverse fields such as robotics, topography, and tomography.

A development highlighted by Dwi is the successful creation of a key LiDAR technology by the Optical Instrumentation Research Group. Based on laser diodes and optical ranging, this technology stands poised to rival existing LiDAR systems. The innovation involves diode lasers that modulate light intensity through radio waves, coupled with the development of a 3-dimensional LiDAR scanner.

“The Optical Instrumentation Research Group (Re-group) has successfully developed a key LiDAR technology based on laser diodes and optical ranging to compete with existing LiDAR technology,” explained Dwi. “This technology uses diode lasers that modulate the light intensity with radio waves. It also develops a 3-dimensional LiDAR scanner.”

One of the Re-group’s achievements, as Dwi highlighted, is the creation of a brighter diode laser achieved through the application of radio frequency. Additionally, the group conducted experiments using optical fibre to gain deeper insights into the workings of the diode laser. These advancements signify a leap forward in the development of LiDAR technology, enhancing its capabilities and paving the way for broader applications.

“I am optimistic that this new LiDAR technology can provide significant benefits in various application fields in the future. I encourage fellow researchers and relevant stakeholders to collaborate in the research and development of this LiDAR technology,” expressed Dwi.

The promise of this advanced LiDAR technology extends beyond its conventional uses. The potential applications are vast and diverse with the integration of radio frequency modulation and a 3-dimensional scanner.

In robotics, this technology could lead to more precise object detection and navigation. The enhanced LiDAR capabilities in topography could revolutionise mapping and terrain analysis, providing valuable data for urban planning and environmental monitoring.

Moreover, the collaboration and encouragement extended by Dwi to fellow researchers and stakeholders underscore the importance of a collective effort in furthering the development and application of this groundbreaking technology. Interdisciplinary collaboration can foster innovations and applications that span various industries, bringing about transformative changes in how we perceive and interact with our surroundings.

Looking ahead, Dwi explained that the evolution of LiDAR technology is likely to continue, fueled by ongoing research and collaborative efforts. The newfound capabilities, such as radio waves and 3-dimensional scanning, position LiDAR as a technology with immense potential to address challenges and create opportunities.

As the technology matures, humans can anticipate its continued integration into diverse fields, contributing to advancements in automation, environmental monitoring, and scientific exploration. The intricacy of Lidar technology is a testament to humanity’s relentless pursuit of innovation and the ability to harness the power of advanced sensing technologies for the betterment of society.

The strides made by the Optical Instrumentation Research Group in LiDAR technology mark a significant milestone. The continuous pursuit of innovation in this domain holds the key to unlocking unprecedented possibilities, shaping the future landscape of technology and its applications in our ever-changing world.


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