Thursday, April 20, 2017

Velodyne is back in the game.

Velodyne Announces a Solid-State Lidar.

"Velodyne today announced a solid-state automotive lidar ranging system that the company will demonstrate in a few months, release in test kits later this year, and mass produce at its new megafactory in San Jose, Calif., in 2018. The estimated price per unit is in the hundreds of dollars."

The Valley is fascinating to watch. Over the past year you could see a few companies coming into the market with super cheap lidar, and you wonder how the more expensive players would react. Now we know. And we all are going to be able to afford to play with lidar! Hey, maybe they will get it cheap enough that robotic vacuums will have lidar. Who knows what kind of market this opens up.

The other fascinating thing about Velodyne is that they started as a subwoofer technology company in the 80's. Here. Talk about reinventing yourself.


  1. Does "solid state" mean no moving parts? i.e. no spinning laser projector on top? If so, what replaces the spinning head?

    And if not, what does "solid state" mean here?

  2. Yes. No moving parts. A tiny chip replaces the spinning wheel. Here. I guess they have a shorter range. Which is why I had to pull that crap out of the cobwebs in my brain. I remember some of the guys talking about solid state a while back, but at the time I didn't think it would be better than the current way. Irrespective of the cost differential. I thought they would only want "richer" lidar. But I guess they seem confident they can get that with solid state.