Sensor processing

CoSys-Lab focuses on different aspects of sensor processing, based on solid engineering principles, inspired by multi-disciplinary approaches and biological systems. Our sensor development is based on solving real-world problems using an embedded and constrained systems approach, as the goal of the developed sensor systems is to implement them into real-world applications, in collaboration with partners from industry. We take into account the constraints of the application such as power consumption, size and availability of computational resources. Inspirations from biology can help in optimizing the sensor architecture to adhere to these constraints. 

One of our focus groups of sensor development are sensors using in-air ultrasonic signals. The sensors range from a 3D imaging sonar, biologically inspired sonar sensors using 3D printed plastic pinnae to pose-estimation systems applying sensor fusion approaches for rehabilitation purposes. We heaviliy rely on the use of arrays of sensors to achieve high-performance environmental perception. 

To support our sensor development research our group has access to state of the art hardware development tools including professional-grade PCB design packages and has significant expertise in the design of custom PCBs and embedded systems using compontents  ranging from low-power processors, analog electronics and FPGAs. Furthermore, we have a wide array of measurement infrastructure ranging from mobile robots (Pioneer 3DX with SLAM-based mapping systems), a 6DOF robotic arm with linear track, high-accuracy pan/tilt systems and a several multi-channel data-acquisition systems.

Some examples of the sensor systems developed by our group:

This is a biologically inspired sonar sensor containing two 3D printed plastic pinnae (ears) from Micronycteris Microtus, and a single broadband ultrasonic emitter. This sensor is used for testing hypothesis on biological sonar sensing such as obstacle avoidance and long-term navigation (ie. map building techniques such as SLAM - BatSLAM).

This is our 3D imaging sonar containing an array of 32 ultrasonic microphones and a single broadband emitter. The sensor is capable of imaging the full frontal hemisphere with a single ultrasonic emission. The sensor has applications in various industrial fields, such as robotics and the support of electric wheelchairs.

This is our 3D imaging sonar containing an array of 32 ultrasonic microphones and a single broadband emitter. The sensor is capable of imaging the full frontal hemisphere with a single ultrasonic emission. The sensor has applications in various industrial fields, such as robotics and the support of electric wheelchairs.