BMW Factory Workshop For Li-Fi Test: Use Infrared LED Instead Of Visible Light.
- Jul 03, 2018 -

BMW has completed a three - year test that uses LED lights to transfer inspection information to factory ground robots. The test results are as follows: the system performs well after continuous adjustment, including the use of infrared LED instead of the original visible light.——LED lighting


Li-Fi uses the light wave of light emitting diode (LED) bulbs to transmit data instead of Wi-Fi's radio frequency to provide two-way data transmission. Li-Fi supporters say one of their main advantages is to open more spectrum for wireless Internet.——LED lighting


It is reported that in the wireless Internet, the spectrum resources of radio waves are becoming more and more intense. Saturated radio frequency often leads to signal conflict and poor reception. The Wi-Fi in the factory floor like BMW is easily disturbed. The use of optical communication does not need to worry about the lack of spectrum, but also alleviating the shortage of global radio spectrum resources.——LED lighting


Li-Fi works through visible light, such as visible light emitted from ceiling LED lamps, or through infrared light (invisible part of the spectrum).——LED lighting


Two years ago, BMW's partner Fraunhof Heinrich Hertz Institute (Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, short for abbreviated "Fraunhofer HHI") announced that the system would use visible light for the first time when it announced a ground test in a factory. This method enables light to play both traditional illumination and new role as data channel.——LED lighting


However, in the process, the project began to deploy infrared LED chips instead of visible LED lights.——LED lighting


A new type of outdoor data communication infrared Li-Fi product developed by Fraunhofer HHI and Japan Telecom Company Sangikyo has been reported previously. The new test at BMW is the best response to its application.——LED lighting



This is the image provided by Fraunhofer when it announced the Li-Fi project two years ago, indicating that it will use visible light. However, BMW's latest Li-Fi demonstration uses infrared LED.——LED lighting


Whether visible or infrared, Li-Fi can meet all kinds of environments, including residential, commercial and industrial sites in the BMW test.


BMW, with the Fraunhofer HHI in Berlin, and the Munich based lighting giant OSRAM (Osram), and other companies, installed a unit for a factory workshop of about 5 * 5 meters (about 16 * 16 feet) so that robots that are engaged in car body manufacture can communicate inspection information.


One concern for the Li-Fi system is the need for communication between light and receiving objects, whether robots, laptops or smart phones. To ensure this, BMW and its development partners used multiple photosensitive receivers, installed six photosensitive receivers on the robotic arm, and installed eight photosensitive receivers on the security barrier in the area of the robot.


It's not clear whether this multi - input and multi - output (MIMO) architecture is one of the reasons they use infrared LED chips instead of ceiling lamps, but the MIMO topology does work, according to Fraunhofer Project Coordinator Volker Jungnickel.——LED lighting


"Essentially, this solves the problem of blocking optical wireless links," Jungnickel said. "The goal of this research project is to improve Li-Fi's technology readiness level[TRL] in the production environment," Jungnickel said. "In the test, we reached TRL 6 for the first time (a total of 9 levels). In order to use Li-Fi in the whole plant, TRL 9 is needed. This is the ultimate goal of BMW and other companies. Using this technology is a good way to achieve this goal. "


Although the system is used to transmit the detection image of a robot to a BMW Engineer - 8 photosensitive receivers on the security barrier communicate with the central data server of BMW, it can also send manufacturing instructions to the robot.——LED lighting


BMW has not yet indicated whether it plans to continue developing the technology. Gerhard Kleinpeter, a BMW project manager, said: "Li-Fi can reduce the density of the Wi-Fi spectrum burden and provide uninterrupted mobile transmission for the industrial Internet of things."——LED lighting


The BMW pilot project, known as the "OWICELLS" for flexible automotive manufacturing units, is part of a broader development program funded by the German Federal Ministry of education and research, which aims to promote wireless communications in industry. The government provided OWICELLS with 1 million 600 thousand euros (US $1 million 860 thousand).——LED lighting


Of course, Fraunhofer did not restrict its Li-Fi to invisible light. For example, a high school in Stuttgart is using a prototype Fraunhofer Li-Fi system in the classroom using LED lamps from the ceiling to send courses to the students' notebook computers.——LED lighting



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