South Korean companies are working on localizing close-range safety detection sensor to assist autonomous operation of small mobility devices.
Kodenshi (President Lee Seok-ryeol), a South Korean company that specializes in optical semiconductor and power device, announced on Wednesday that it was selected to lead the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Power-Saving LED Convergence Technology Development Project that will receive $3.08 million (3.6685 billion KRW) from the ministry until 2022.
The goal of the project, which has Kodenshi as the leader with Korea Photonics Technology Institute, AnyCasting, Chonnam National University’s Industry-University Cooperation Foundation, and Korea Institute of Lighting & ICT participating, is to develop near-infrared microLED integrated module system for small mobility device that can perform safety detection on lose range. Kodenshi along with participating companies will also develop low-cost close-range time of flight (ToF) safety detection sensor module to assit autonomous operation of small mobility devices such as bicycle and wheelchair, robot, drone, and small electric vehicle.

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<Front view of Kodenshi’s company building>

Radar and vision and near-infrared-based ToF method-based LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system are currently used as safety detection sensors for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). However, these two sensors are not suitable for small mobility devices due to narrow detection range depending on sensors, low detection accuracy, high price, blind spot and limited installation areas. Most of sensors used for small mobility devices are imported from foreign countries.
Kodenshi and other participants of the project are planning to develop sensor convergence technology through data on distance information of objects in a wide angle and camera image matching by applying near-infrared microLED aggregated light source which will be the first in South Korea. Rather than laser diode and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL) light source, they are planning to materialize near-infrared microLED EPI wafer to package. Close-range safety detection sensor will have a detection range of 15 meters and 180° wide-angle detection capability through solid state low-cost close-range safety detection sensor module.
“We are expecting to enter various small mobility markets that need close-range safety detection sensor and experience import substitution effects by localizing close-range near-infrared ToF safety sensor.” said President Lee Seok-ryeol of Kodenshi. “We are also expecting to gain competitive edge in close-range near-infrared ToF safety detection sensor technology globally.”
Staff Reporter Kim, Hansik |