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A new photonic standard component for3D sensing

Project description

Novel technology supports 3D vision using standard cameras for industrial automation

Industry 4.0 the latest industrial revolution currently underway, is a digital transformation of manufacturing and production founded on the concepts of interconnectivity, the Internet of Things and automation. Machine vision will be the eyes of Industry 4.0 where machine-learning algorithms are embedded in advanced cameras to produce images in the same way as the human eye. Supporting this goal, the EU-funded K-IND project has developed patented technology to turn any single shot obtained with a standard camera into precise 3-dimensional information. The team is developing the business model to take it to market and propel the EU into an Industry 4.0 leadership position by speeding up its digital manufacturing transformation.


Automation of industrial production promises cost savings, quality assurance and the avoidance of inhumane working conditions in industrial production plants. But despite technological developments over the past 40 years, many industrial tasks remain, where the automation industry is still struggling. Modern sensor technologies, in particular photonic machine vision sensors, offer solution potential. And while traditional vision sensors only provide 2D information, several approaches have been developed to record 3D. But even with state of the art 3D sensors, the human eye cannot be replaced in many cases due to the complexity of products, materials, lighting conditions and shortcomings of existing technology making automation impossible.
Our patented light-field lens technology will address such flaws. It is small, video-capable, compatible with existing technology, robust even in complex lighting conditions and precise. The hardware is a new optical component (the K|Lens) which can be used with any standard camera and any main lens turning the system automatically into a 3D system. The software is based on latest research results in the areas of computer vision and machine learning.
With this application, we want to fund the development of a first portfolio of prototypes covering the key potential of our technology. For this purpose, the three most promising application areas with high upscale potential have been identified during a feasibility analysis under SME Instrument Phase 1. The project is planned in close collaboration with market leading cooperation partners making sure that our products fit customer requirements and that an immediate upscale potential is guaranteed through the market position of our partners.
The development of our business model will evolve through three stages. In the long term, this will allow us to transform our company into a highly scalable component provider and a leader in the deployment of 3D photonics technologies in Europe.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 560 562,50
66121 Saarbrucken

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Saarland Saarland Regionalverband Saarbrücken
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 2 229 375,00