Seeing things from a different field of view with Ouster’s OSDome

Jon Hall

18th November 2022

Ouster OSDome infrared capture 180 degree field of view

The launch of Ouster’s REV7 sensor suite also heralded the arrival of an all-new sensor, the OSDome hemispherical LiDAR.  Built with the same digital architecture as the rest of the REV7 range, but with a new form factor and dome-shaped window, OSDome provides an entirely different field-of-view (FoV) proposition.  Boasting 180° coverage across the top of the sensor and 360° horizontally, realising a hemispherical FoV.

OSDome is powered by the next-generation L3 chip, delivering extremely detailed pointcloud data across the entire FoV, making it one of the highest-performing hemispherical LiDAR sensors available. These features make the OSDome the perfect sensing solution for security and crowd analytics applications requiring anonymous people tracking, or industrial AMRs that need a higher level of reliable situational awareness.

OSDome advantages

Blind spot reduction

Ouster OSDome hemispherical LiDAR sensor with 180 degree field of view

Whether you’re installing a LiDAR sensor on a mobile robot or in a fixed location, establishing the optimum mounting position can be challenging as this usually involves a compromise between short-range and long-range detection.  For example, LiDARs installed on forklift trucks tend to be angled downward to cover the area directly in front of the vehicle, forfeiting effective long-range detection. Either that or, to achieve longer-range scanning, the sensor is mounted parallel to the ground.  This configuration runs the risk of objects below the sensor or near the vehicle being missed.  Generally, an additional sensor is deployed to eliminate the blind spots, or safe operation is achieved by limiting the speed and performance of the platform.

Similarly, blind spot issues can affect indoor security and crowd monitoring. Angling a sensor to cover an area creates blind spots in others, meaning that multiple sensors are required, or, accepting that tracking and monitoring cannot be carried out in certain areas.

Pointcloud from an OSDome mounted on the ceiling of a cafe

Removing the need for these compromises, the OSDome’s hemispherical FoV provides comprehensive floor-to-ceiling coverage, eliminating blind spots caused by angled mounting or sensor limitations.  Enabling users to reduce hardware costs and installation time, and mitigate system complexity, while simultaneously enhancing performance with high-resolution coverage. 

This feature is also a boon for warehouse robotics with OSDome providing floor-to-ceiling coverage in confined spaces, meaning that forklifts can navigate narrow aisles with ease. Even within a metre of walls or racking, the sensor can detect objects from the ground to the ceiling. A more accurate and comprehensive understanding of surroundings minimises the risk of accidents while operating at higher speeds, also leading to improved productivity and profitability.

Unobtrusive form factor

Ouster OSDome LiDAR sensor discreetly deployed

Sensor design is a crucial element for many applications, but not generally for aesthetic reasons.  This is exemplified in security and retail applications where discreet deployment is a key consideration.  OSDome’s compact form factor, approximately the size of a typical security camera, combined with the hemispheric FoV means that it can be installed so that it blends in with the environment. 

Anonymised data

OSDome pointcloud

LiDAR sensors deliver spatial intelligence without capturing personally identifiable data, unlike cameras.  LiDAR does not capture faces – it knows what a pedestrian is, not who they are.  OSDome collects high-resolution, anonymised data of the environment, mitigating concerns about privacy, which is a compelling feature for applications such as crowd analytics – gaining insights from the crowd, enabling operations to be optimised, maintaining safety, and reducing costs.  All of this can be achieved without violating personal privacy.

Powered by the L3 chip

OSDome is powered by the new Ouster L3 chip, as is the whole REV7 sensor suite, offering greater range, and industry-leading precision, reliability, and resolution. In fact, with 128 channels and 20-metre range (at 10% reflectivity), OSDome delivers four times the resolution of other LiDAR sensors in its class. 

As OSDome is built with the same components as the rest of the OS suite of LiDAR sensors, Ouster can easily deliver scaled-up volumes with their existing manufacturing capabilities.

Speak to our experts

Level Five Supplies offers a comprehensive portfolio of LiDAR products from some of the world’s leading manufacturers ensuring that you can find the perfect sensing solution for your application.