In spring 2019, the sensor manufacturer Sick organized an Innovation Competition between universities and universities of applied sciences. Satakunta University of Applied Sciences participated in the competition with a Robotics Academy team. A key part of the competition was the sensor that Sick gave and each team had to create a new innovation with the sensor. The competition sensor was a MRS- 6000 3D-LiDAR sensor, which is one of the most powerful laser meters in the product range. Its main features are 24 scan layers and a very large measuring range.
Robotics academy students set up brainstorming and set the goal of combining robotics and sensor accuracy. Buildings and environments have been scanned for some time as 3D models, but no automated applications were available on the market. The team decided to solve this problem and the next step in the project was to design a working prototype. The Omron Mobile Robot is one of the robots in SAMK’s technology lab. It is known to be an excellent transport tool for the sensor, thanks to its high carrying capacity and automated travel. Before the sensor was ready to be mounted on the mobile robot, it needed a rack. Rotating rack was built with 3D printer, and it was designed to rotate with the help of a stepper motor and an Arduino microcircuit. The time of the team was limited, so converting the data from the sensor to the 3D format remained at the level of thought.
The final prototype was made as planned and the team was satisfied with the outcome. During the competition, the team was dealing with many new topics for them, so the new learning was shared with a big bucket.