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TACO 3D Sensor to Help Robots Observe Environment Naturally

The TACO project that commenced during February 2010 will empower existing robots to be utilized in more advanced markets.

The project strives to enhance the robotics industry in Europe to address the long-term challenges of 3D sensing and creating innovative technologies.

TACO utilizes the 3D foveation process for improving the existing 3D sensor systems significantly. Foveation empowers the TACO systems in acquiring fast object detection techniques for chosen interest areas related to the coarse 3D image domain, and then focus on image acquisition of details or regions of interest. Like the human eye, the robot can concentrate on the most appropriate object and then scan and monitor the object minutely.

TACO’s main objective is the development of a sturdy, low-cost, flexible, and compact 3D sensing system. This system will incorporate three key parts, namely, a new concept for speedy attention level management, a 3D-enabled laser scanner sensor, and a software framework. These robots will be able to play a key role in the cleaning, health care, maintenance, security, construction, entertainment and personal assistance application domain in the future.

Jens T. Thielemann, Technical Lead at TACO, informed that the TACO sensor will facilitate faster, cheaper, and better 3D sensing in comparison to existing laser scanners. He revealed that the foveation process enables the sensor to offer resolution that is 10 times better as compared to current sensors enabled through hardware. This, in turn, results in a 10 times size resolution. He added that an easily accessible report that compares the TACO sensor to current 3D sensors will be among the key project deliveries, which will clarify the TACO advantage to the European robotics community.

In the future, robots will be able to perceive their environment more naturally like humans by using the new 3D sensor.


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