Owl Autonomous Imaging Wins Best of Sensors Award for Its 3D High-Definition Thermal Ranger Camera With Computer Vision

Owl Autonomous Imaging was named the winner of the most innovative product in the Optical and Camera category at the Best of Sensors Awards 2023 for its 3D High-Definition Thermal Ranger Camera with Computer Vision. This is one of 14 categories of products that were given awards this year at Sensors Converge Conference and Expo. Each award finalist is selected by a panel of industry experts, and entries are judged on their originality, the significance of the issues they tackled, and the market value they brought.

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The 3D HD Thermal Ranger Camera with Computer Vision was designed explicitly for automotive on and off-road applications. This camera system harnesses advanced thermal imaging and artificial intelligence to deliver unparalleled night vision capabilities. With a focus on automotive safety, the Owl 3D HD Thermal Ranger Camera provides a complete solution for detecting vulnerable road users (VRUs) and preventing collisions in extremely low-light environments, to help ensure the protection of pedestrians, cyclists, and animals in the roadway. This low-cost, compact, single-lens system promises to change the automotive industry's approach to nighttime driving safety.

"Our unique, patented solutions deliver panoramic thermal imaging and dense range maps are superior to HDR RGB cameras, and/or LiDAR or RADAR sensors for difficult night and blinding light situations," says Chuck Gershman, chief executive officer of Owl Autonomous Imaging. "Unlike cumbersome stereo camera approaches, a single Owl AI 3D thermal camera delivers distance information throughout the entire field of view (FOV) and is immune to vehicle vibration for reliable and robust mapping."

Owl's 3D HD Thermal Ranger Camera combines megapixel thermal video with optically fused 3D range maps to provide rich detail and 3D responses, day or night, even in visually impaired environments. Unlike LiDAR and radar sensors, which provide limited data points per second, the Owl Thermal Ranger delivers 90 million points per second. This angular and spatial resolution gives automotive developers and OEMs better insights into surroundings and enables them to deploy robust security features.

The key to the Owl Thermal Ranger's performance lies in its cutting-edge components. The Megapixel Digital Focal Plane Array (MP-DFPA) produces nearly four times the resolution of analog-based VGA thermal cameras while using 15 times less power per pixel.

Owl's proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) thermal ranging software is another key component that harnesses the thermal spectrum to generate ultra-dense range and depth data at frame rate. This allows the camera to deliver range maps that cover the entire field of view and detect objects in real-time.

Finally, the multi-aperture optical (MLA) system enables simultaneous capture of both wide-angle and telephoto fields of view through a single fixed-focus main lens. This feature allows the camera to achieve curb-to-curb response (105 degrees) for inner-city driving, while also providing long-range response at distances exceeding 185 meters. It eliminates the need for multiple cameras and reduces the cost and complexity for automotive OEMs.

Owl Autonomous Imaging, Inc. is a leading innovator in the field of autonomous vehicle sensor technology, specializing in 3D thermal imaging and ranging solutions. Founded in 2018 and led by industry veterans Chuck Gershman and Gene Petilli, Owl Autonomous Imaging embraces the core values of safety, trust, respect, accountability, passion, and determination. Using those principles, the company brings computer vision to industrial, defense and automotive mobility markets.

To learn about the other companies and sensors that won the 2023 Best of Sensors Award, visit this article.