Geo Week News

December 9, 2019

32 channel lidar for $8K - Ouster's newest hardware finds a sweet spot


Following up on the release of the OS1-128 earlier this year, Ouster has introduced another new mid-range, low-cost, high-resolution 32-channel lidar sensor.

Designed to accelerate the development and deployment of perception systems at an attainable price point for researchers, roboticists, and commercial applications, the OS1-32 is ruggedized, and, according to Ouster, “has the smallest form factor and lowest weight of any commercially available high-resolution lidar sensor on the market”.

One of the key selling points of this new sensor is its price. Due to price constraints, many projects that could benefit from higher resolution are limited to 16 channels of vertical resolution. At $8,000 (or $6,000 for non-profit university research), the OS1-32 is a fraction of the price that customers have historically paid for 32 channels of resolution, making it the most affordable 32-channel lidar sensor in the market.

“The OS1-32 is the lowest cost 32-channel sensor ever produced, and will deliver improved perception to projects where it was previously financially prohibitive,” an Ouster spokesperson told SPAR 3D. “We expect many of our OS1-32 sales to be people upgrading from a 16-channel or those that don’t have the budget for a 64-channel sensor. The improved resolution and lower price makes it both attainable and more useful lidar sensor for a diverse set of use cases.”

Ouster’s OS1-series lidar are being used in an array of construction and industrial applications, from scanning buildings to enabling perception and navigation for mining, agriculture, and other commercial uses. Building maps using Google Cartographer and the OS1 lidar sensor, or using the OS1 for threat detection, classification, and tracking, are some of the examples found on the company’s blog.

Again, Ouster’s special solid-state lidar architecture enables the company to make the OS1-32 the same size and weight as its 16, 64, and 128-channel siblings. However, this new sensor scans 655,360 points per second, which is double the amount of the 16-channel sensor, and half of the 64-channel.

“Higher resolution helps machines to better understand the physical world and move projects from R&D to commercial availability,” says Ouster CEO and co-founder Angus Pacala.

In addition, the OS1-32 introduces a new modular top cap, enabling tight physical and aesthetic integration into customer platforms for the OS1-series sensors. For customers willing to invest in a custom integration, Ouster will share mechanical and thermal design guidelines necessary to maintain safe, reliable, and performant sensor operation.

Headquartered in San Francisco and founded in 2015, Ouster has secured over 550 customers and $90 million in funding. The company has always been focused on lowering the barrier to entry for lidar sensors, and this new sensor is one more step in making lidar more accessible to boost adoption and enable projects that wouldn’t be able to exist without an affordable, reliable, high-resolution sensor.

As for the future, Ouster has hinted that they plan have a series of big announcements at CES 2020 which will take place in January.

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