SAN FRANCISCO — Sensor maker Ouster Inc. last week announced the availability of OS1-32, which it claimed is “the world’s most affordable 32-channel lidar sensor.” OS1-32 is designed to enable robotics researchers and commercial developers to build robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, and other systems.
Ouster said it has more than 550 customers and $90 million in funding, including $60 million raised in March. The company said its unique digital architecture delivers camera-like image quality with reliable, rugged, and compact sensors.
“When we started Ouster in 2015, we designed our sensors with a digital architecture in order to bring the economics of Moore’s Law to lidar, turning the problem of designing a new lidar into a problem of designing a new chip,” wrote Angus Pacala, co-founder and CEO of Ouster, in a blog post. “In many products, from televisions to smartphones, we have grown accustomed to higher performance at decreasing price points. Lidar customers can now expect this same improvement.
In July, Postmates chose Ouster to supply lidar sensors for its Serve autonomous delivery robot.
Ouster touts OS1-32
The OS1-32 has a range of 120 meters (393.7 ft.) and “the smallest form factor and lowest weight of any commercially available high-resolution lidar sensor on the market,” said Ouster. It compared the resolution of the midrange OS1-32 with that of its OS1-16 model (see video above).
“Higher-resolution sensors at an affordable price are critical for moving computer vision from simple obstacle avoidance to more advanced perception and for moving projects from R&D to commercial viability,” stated Pacala. “The OS1-32 gives customers what they ask for the most: higher resolution at an affordable price.”
“Less expensive high-resolution lidar is critical for moving computer vision from simple obstacle avoidance to advanced perception and situational awareness,” he added. “Higher resolution helps machines to better understand the physical world and moves projects from R&D to commercial availability.”
Ouster also introduced a modular radial cap for custom mounting of OS1-series lidar sensors. The OS1 continues to ship with a radial fin cap design required for standalone operation. For customers that want to create their own custom integration, the company offered to share mechanical and thermal design requirements for “safe, reliable, and performant sensor operation.”
“With great modularity, comes great responsibility,” Pacala said.
Earlier this month, Ouster announced a Firmware 1.13 update that doubles its sensors’ precision while also improving the granularity of range data measurements from 1.2cm to 0.3cm increments.
Ouster is now accepting orders for the OS1-32, with the first lidar sensors shipping in late November. The OS1-32 is priced at $8,000 for commercial applications, with volume pricing available, and $6,000 for nonprofit university research.