Smarter Drones

Enabled by TDK Solutions

It’s a drone world – and we are just living in it. TDK InvenSense has been extremely blessed to have had so much success in adopting our sensors into drones over the last decade, dating back to the days of the MPU-6050. Our 6-axis IMUs have dominated this space, allowing for drone manufacturers and ecosystem players to trust in our performance and accuracy, but times are changing.

Today’s drones are pushing the barrier for innovation, integrating features like 5G connectivity, autonomous controls, AI, and much more. These technologies, along with many others, are changing the ways drones are being used in everyday life. This includes last mile delivery, agricultural surveillance, and first responder support. The days of just providing a generic IMU are over, and TDK is stepping up our solutions to focus on the features and problems that drone companies face. Our comprehensive portfolio of IMUs, Pressure, Ultrasonic ToF, MEMs Microphones, and Software make TDK the ultimate “solution” provider for all things drones!

How can TDK make drones better?

Drone obstacle detection diagram

SmartSonic™

Obstacle Detection

With drones moving faster then ever before, it is necessary to be able to avoid anything that could show up within its path. Using TDK’s ultrasonic Time of Flight technology – Drones can detect obstacles within a 7M+ range in any direction in real time tov quickly and accurately adjust its position. TDK’s Time-of-Flight sensors can also detect clear material like windows and plastic, and add additional improvements and accuracy to the SLAM feature typically found in drones.

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SmartMotion®

Electrical & Optical Image Stabilization

Cameras are one of the largest selling points for drones today. A crystal-clear image or video can help capture a timeless memory or spot an essential error. TDK IMUs and OIS/EIS software can turn any drone into a high-resolution photographer. TDK has dominated in the OIS space for mobile phones for over a decade, and our technology easily transitions into the drone world to enable the best OIS and EIS performance in the world.

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Drone fitted with image stabilized camera

Drone appearing with an array of microphones

SmartSound™

Audio Capture

As propeller motors continue to lower their noise levels, the ability to capture audio has never been easier! TDK’s high-performance MEMS microphones provide ample dynamic range and low power to enable even the noisiest drones to finally capture clear audio data. A strong microphone array can help capture audio signatures and provide robust solutions such as propeller noise removal, ANC, and high-definition audio/video from the camera. This is a major step in the roadmap to one day control drones with just our voices and no need for a controller!

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SmartSonic™

Ground Type Identification (e.g. water vs. land)

Certain drones are fond of flying over different types of ground area; grass, dirt, rock but struggle to understand the difference between land and water. TDK’s Ultrasonic Time-of-Flight technology can detect with high accuracy changes in the ground type and use that data to optimize flight plans, speeds, and height to ensure your drone does not end up at the bottom of the sea.

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Ground Type Detection Diagram

Drone fitted with pressure sensor

SmartPressure™

Indoor/Outdoor Pressure Stabilization

More than ever, a single drone is being used both indoors and outdoors for different situations. The ability of TDK’s Pressure Sensor to accurately measure barometric pressure changes enables stable drone altitude hold regardless A/C units, doors opening, extreme winds, or major weather changes.

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SmartIndustrial™

Accuracy & Performance Beyond Consumer

Not all drones are the same – so a “one size fits all” IMU is unlikely to appease everyone’s needs. Along with TDK’s industry-leading consumer-grade IMUs, we are also excited to announce a full array of Industrial-grade sensor and modules that take performance and accuracy to the next level. Applications focused on robotics, agriculture, high end precision, and so on can now explore our latest offerings, which take IMU performance from consumer-leading to industrial-leading!

Learn More About SmartIndustrial

Various types of drones

Which TDK Offerings Can Take Your Drone To The Next Level?

Ultrasonic
Time-of-Flight

IMU
Module

6-Axis
Gyro/Accel

MEMS
Microphone

Barometric
Pressure

Software
Solutions

Rangefinding
Obstacle Recognition

Industrial-Grade
Motion Sensing

Image Stabilization
MotionTracking

ICM-40609 Product Brief

Noise Canceling

Altitude Sensing
in Many Conditions

Advanced Algorithms

ICM-456xx Product Brief

ICM-40609 Product Brief

Learn More about SmartMotionLearn More about SmartIndustrialLearn More about SmartSonicLearn More about SmartSoundLearn More about SmartPressureBrowse Our Software Solutions

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