Ambient Light Suppression Gen3: Pushing the boundaries beyond the possible

Ambient Light Suppression Gen3: Pushing the boundaries beyond the possible

By Andrea Ferkova || June 1, 2023

What really matters is the performance in real-life applications.

Photoneo has been widely known as an industry leader in 3D sensing, providing customers with robust 3D sensors to overcome common challenges such as scanning black and shiny parts, scanning from larger distances, or having low noise and great data completeness in challenging lighting conditions thanks to the unique Ambient Light Suppression (ALS). Now, we introduce Generation 3 with yet better ALS performance, pushing the boundaries of what is possible even further. With ALS Gen3, it is possible to acquire scans outdoors under direct sunlight, which is equivalent to 100 000 lux.

The challenge of Ambient Light Suppression

3D scanning of parts in industrial environments with demanding lighting conditions has always been a concern to customers and a challenge for machine vision developers. Optimal results can often be only achieved by installing blinders, darkening the room, and adjusting the number of light sources. 

With Photoneo’s ALS Gen3, you do not have to worry about lighting conditions any more. Now you can scan scenes with high dynamic ranges, under changing lighting conditions, or even outside under direct sunlight.

Let’s have a look at each of these conditions in more detail.

High dynamic range 3D scanning

3D scanning of scenes that contain dark as well as bright parts is very challenging for most 3D sensing technologies. Photoneo’s ALS Gen3 now enables you to scan the darkest and brightest areas of the scene at the same time – in a single scan. ALS effectively suppresses strong light sources, while it does not harm low-light areas of the scan, which results in very high dynamic ranges.

Indoor conditions with irregular and changing lighting

While it is relatively feasible to set up an application in either dark or bright indoor environments, changing lighting conditions cause a major challenge. This is usually the case when a room has windows or skylights. 

The intensity of light coming to the room through windows, roof windows, skylights, and other light sources changes throughout the year. Oftentimes, customers make a setup in a certain season and when  the season changes, they need to install impractical blinders or make other lighting adjustments to continue the operation.

Another challenging factor are shadows and shadow-like patterns that inhibit proper 3D scan acquisition. For instance, bin picking applications rely heavily on the completeness of 3D point clouds, which can be hindered by bad lighting conditions, especially shadows or shiny parts (see the pictures below). 

With the new ALS Gen3, all these challenges can be easily overcome. The technology brings  unparalleled performance and consistency to your automation deployments so you do not need to worry about lighting conditions any more.

Scanning outdoors

A special challenge is scanning outdoors. The illuminance from direct sunlight can reach much more than 100 000 lux. This is a huge amount of bright light considering the fact that an active 3D vision system with its own projected light needs to rely on its own light source and not that of the sun.

One way out of this would be to increase the light power of the vision system. However, this would tremendously increase the risk of serious eye injury.

Photoneo outsmarted other 3D vision technologies by developing a special acquisition method that actively suppresses the effects of direct sunlight without increasing the intensity of the light coming from the projector.

The size of the scanned object is also a challenging factor because scanning from large distances decreases the acquisition capabilities of a vision system. The new ALS Gen3 technology works reliably under direct sunlight even when scanning large objects with glossy surfaces such as cars. The PhoXi 3D Scanner model XL works for distances of up to 4 meters.  

The 3rd Generation of ALS is now available with all PhoXi 3D Scanners shipped from 1 June 2023. It can also be acquired for all recently purchased scanners through an update to Firmware 1.10. 

If you have any questions regarding your device and ALS Gen3, please, contact your sales contact point at Photoneo.

About the Author

Andrea Ferkova
Andrea Ferkova
Sr. PR Specialist || Website

Andrea Ferkova is senior public relations specialist at Photoneo and writer of technological articles on smart automation powered by robotic vision and intelligence. She has a master’s from the University of Vienna.

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