First 3D time of flight (ToF) camera with the capability to record underwater

OFFER from Austria, reference: TOAT20171130001, valid from 30-11-2017 untill 04-12-2018

Technology
  • Title:
    First 3D time of flight (ToF) camera with the capability to record underwater
  • Start date:
    30 november 2017 (3 weken geleden)
  • End date:
    4 december 2018
  • Summary:
    An Austrian SME has developed a prototype for a 3D ToF camera system to classify and track objects under water. High recording speed allows fast moving objects to be captured or to map underwater structures. The system can be mounted on any installations and equipment including unmanned vehicles. The company is looking for a commercial agreement with technical assistance Alternatively a technical or a research cooperation is possible to further develop the technology in (research) projects.
  • Description:
    The Austrian company, working on 3D cameras, has developed a novel technology, specifically for situations where state of the art technologies do not work well.

    State of the art stereoscopic cameras as well as time of flight cameras can be used to record and create 3D models. While information gathered from stereoscopic cameras has to be processed to a 3D model, ToF cameras send light impulses which are reflected and captured again by ToF cameras. ToF cameras measure the "time of flight" of these light impulses and capture 3D information by creating point clouds. This enables a very high recording speed which allows real-time applications where quick responses and detection of moving objects is essential. Furthermore objects without surface structures (e.g. a white wall) can be detected. In addition to the hardware, the company provides open source software that can be adjusted to the required tasks.

    The novelty of the TOF cameras produced by the Austrian company is that these ToF cameras are able to emit blue (450 - 490 nm) and green (490 - 560 nm) light (by LEDs) while state of the art ToF cameras are operated solely with infrared (IR) lighting. This technology enables new fields of applications in specific surroundings where IR is absorbed well or abundant IR radiation is present.
    One such environment is under water. Information gathered with these cameras can be used to identify or track objects, create maps of surfaces or grounds, guide and manoeuvre vehicles under water, etc. Therefore the technology is expected to fulfil new purposes and tasks in sectors like underwater services, oceanography, or off shore construction.
    The technology features custom ToF sensor chips and lighting in a spectral range where absorption in water is minimal and working distances up to 5m are practicable. Currently the resolution of the sensor is 352x287 pixels. However, future versions of the sensor will provide higher resolution and greater working distances. Camera and underwater housing can be attached to any existing equipment or infrastructure and can either be powered via an external battery or via cable.

    Potential applications include:
    - tracking of especially fast moving objects
    - identifying and counting objects (e.g. fish, divers, vehicles)
    - navigation systems for unmanned underwater vehicles (e.g.
    docking at ports, following pipes)
    - mapping of underwater structures
    - tracking of underwater pipes and constructions

    The company is looking for companies, manufacturer, research institutions, universities and technology transfer organisations to apply the technology in their field and adjust the system to the specific needs. In this sense research cooperation, technical cooperation and commercial agreements with technical assistance are favoured. The company is also open to collaborate in projects funded by European programmes like Horizon 2020, Eurostars etc.
Partner Sought
  • Type of Partnership Considered:
    Commercial agreement with technical assistance, Technical cooperation agreement, Research cooperation agreement
  • Technical Specification or Expertise Sought:

    Specific area of activity of the Partner (Know-how, clientele, etc.):

    The company is looking for companies, manufacturer, research institutions, universities and technology transfer organisations to apply the technology in their field and adjust the system to specific needs.

    Manufacturer of (un)maned water based vehicles:
    - willing to implement the novel ToF camera in its products
    - willing to co-develop a novel water based vehicle for joint
    distribution

    Any kind of partner who is interested in integration of the 3D ToF camera in its system e.g.:
    - surveillance systems in swimming pools
    - etc.

    Research Institutes:
    - Institutes with applications and research in under water
    technology and services, oceanography, off shore
    constructions, etc.


    Task to be performed by the Partner (Objectives, purpose, conditions):

    The company is looking for a partner that is interested in implementation of the camera into a system or for a partner who is interested in a joint further development of this technology.
    The partner should have demand for applications like:
    - Object detection and tracking
    - Object classification
    - Navigation in low-contrast environments
    - etc.

    Together with the Austrian company, hardware and software will be adjusted to fulfil the required task of the partner. After setting up the equipment, the company provides training for proper use and adjustments of the camera system as well as repair and maintenance measures.

    In this sense research cooperation, technical cooperation and commercial agreements with technical assistance are favoured. The company is also open to collaborate in projects funded by European programmes like Horizon 2020, Eurostars etc.

    SME 11-50,University,R&D Institution,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500

Organisation
  • Development stage:
    Prototype available for demonstration
  • IPR Status:
    Secret Know-how
  • Market keywords:
    Laser Related
    Other electronics related (including alarm systems)
  • Technology keywords:
    Embedded Systems and Real Time Systems
    Sensors for cars and transport
    Micro- and Nanotechnology related to marine resources
    Recording Devices
    Remote sensing technology
  • NACE keywords:
  • Advantages and Innovations:
    The main advantages of the 3D ToF camera are:

    - Applicability for underwater applications:
    The 3D ToF camera emits light in wavelenghts which are rarely
    absorbed by water.

    - High recording speed:
    The 3D camera records 60 to 80 frames per second compared
    to about 30 frames per second of stereoscopic cameras which
    enables the tracking of fast objects. e.g. anti collisioning issues.

    - Low power consumption:
    Due to efficient information processing, sensor delivers 3D
    information directly

    - Easy set up:
    Small underwater housing, battery mode, open source software

    - Tracking in low-contrast environments:
    E.g. tracking of objects without surface structures as for
    example a white wall

    - Precision:
    The overall distance measurement error is 1% and increases
    linearly with the distance while this error increases quadratically
    in case of stereoscopic cameras.

    - Easy applicability even at greater water depths:
    The housing optics of stereoscopic cameras distorts in greater
    depths which is not an issue in case of ToF cameras
Client
  • Type and Size of Organisation:
    Industry SME <= 10
  • Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation
    Ja
  • Year Established:
    1998
  • Turnover:
  • Country of origin:
    Austria
  • Languages spoken
    • English
    • German
    • French
    • Spanish
    • Italian
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