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Sense Photonics

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About Sense Photonics

Sense Photonics operates as a technology company. It produces LiDAR and 3-dimensional sensor solutions for autonomous vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and industrial automation markets. It was founded in 2016 and is based in Durham, North Carolina. In October 2021, Sense Photonics was acquired by Ouster.

Headquarters Location

3021 East Cornwallis Road

Durham, North Carolina, 27709,

United States


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Expert Collections containing Sense Photonics

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Sense Photonics is included in 6 Expert Collections, including Auto Tech.


Auto Tech

2,425 items

Startups building a next-generation mobility ecosystem, using technology to improve connectivity, safety, convenience, and efficiency in vehicles.Includes technologies such as ADAS and autonomous driving, connected vehicles, fleet telematics, V2V/V2X, and vehicle cybersecurity.



2,342 items

This collection includes startups developing autonomous ground robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic arms, and underwater drones, among other robotic systems. This collection also includes companies developing operating systems and vision modules for robots.


Conference Exhibitors

5,302 items


Semiconductors, Chips, and Advanced Electronics

6,343 items

Companies in this collection develop everything from microprocessors to flash memory, integrated circuits specifically for quantum computing and artificial intelligence to OLED for displays, massive production fabs to circuit design firms, and everything in between.


Advanced Manufacturing

4,171 items

Companies focused on the technologies to increase manufacturing productivity, ranging from automation & robotics to AR/VR to factory analytics & AI, plus many more.


Aerospace & Space Tech

2,388 items

Sense Photonics Patents

Sense Photonics has filed 41 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Optical devices
  • 3D imaging
  • Photonics
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date


Related Topics




3D imaging, Sensors, Medical imaging, Particle detectors, Image sensors


Application Date


Grant Date



Related Topics

3D imaging, Sensors, Medical imaging, Particle detectors, Image sensors



Latest Sense Photonics News

Ouster acquires Sense Photonics, establishes Ouster Automotive

Nov 8, 2021

Ouster Automotive Ouster acquires Sense Photonics, establishes Ouster Automotive Solidifies Ouster’s position in automotive with long-range solid-state digital lidar, five series production programs under negotiation Ouster, Inc. acquired Sense Photonics and established  Ouster Automotive , a division of the company focusing on driving mass-market adoption of digital lidar in consumer and commercial vehicles. Ouster acquired 100% of Sense and its property for approximately 10 million shares of Ouster common stock, inclusive of 0.8 million shares underlying assumed options, after closing adjustments. Through the acquisition, Ouster expects to: Accelerate Ouster’s solid-state digital lidar product roadmap by more than 12 months Deliver on a development deal with a major global automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Advance negotiations with automotive OEMs for five series production programs, collectively worth over $1 billion in potential revenue Expand the breadth of its IP portfolio through the acquisition of Sense’s over 100 pending patent applications and exclusive license to over 250 patents Sense CEO  Shauna McIntyre  joins the company as the President of  Ouster Automotive , bringing 25 years of experience serving automotive OEMs to the team. She is accompanied by most of Sense’s approximately 80 global employees supporting the solid-state product roadmap and advance commercial negotiations with global automakers. “Ouster Automotive has the industry expertise, ability to execute, and resources to be a leading partner with automotive OEMs and Tier Ones alike,” Ouster Automotive President Shauna McIntyre says. “With the combination of our two companies, we are well-equipped to deliver on our existing automotive wins and future high-volume series production programs.” “Solid-state digital lidar is the holy grail of automotive autonomy, and we believe Ouster is the only lidar company prepared to bring it to the mass market,”  Ouster CEO Angus Pacala  says. “We have both the talent and the technology to be a market leader across all of our industries for years to come, and I welcome Shauna and her exceptional team to Ouster.”   Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are driving today’s manufacturing, combining physical production and operations with smart digital technology. With a heavy focus on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, real-time data utilization, and artificial intelligence (AI), Industry 4.0 brings to mind high-tech industries like medical devices, aerospace, and computer technologies. Certainly not cutting tools, right? Wrong. “In the 21st century manufacturing environment, companies are embracing Industry 4.0 technologies, and efficient access to digital product data is essential to meeting the level of precision that is required in the cutting tool industry today as well,” says Bill Orris, ARCH Cutting Tools senior director – Product Development and Custom Solutions. “We are now capable of exporting tooling data of our products directly to our customers’ CAD/CAM, ERP, and other shop environment digital platforms, fast-tracking solid modeling and simulations.” A giant leap for a 20th century business you may think. But some historical perspective will demonstrate that this is really an evolution. First, what is Industry 4.0? It’s the fourth industrial evolution that began around 2000, with data becoming a primary driver of manufacturing. The history of industry and manufacturing is summarized in the previous three industrial revolutions – around 1765, when the production of goods became mechanized, followed by the second industrial revolution in 1870, when industry became electrified, and the third industrial revolution in 1969 when electronic automation was introduced. So, it’s time for the cutting tools industry to catch up, right? It’s not a matter of catching up, but rather evolving and innovating along with the rest of manufacturing. Cutting tools and material removal technology have been a critical part of each industrial revolution. When the production of goods first became mechanized, there could have been no standardized, repeatable, reliable parts production without standardized, repeatable and reliable cutting and drilling. As industry evolved, cutting and material removal technology had to be at the forefront to support faster, more efficient production; and to handle new and more diverse materials as they entered the markets. Now, as data and digitization drive manufacturing, cutting tool technology is again leading the way – as it did in the late 1700s at the dawn of the first Industrial Revolution. Cutting tools have always been “high-tech,” as defined in each era; and now, just as with all industry, the high-tech component is digital, and data driven. That’s how the cutting tools industry continues to lead in manufacturing, and ARCH Cutting Tools is setting the industry standard with its approach to digitization, cloud-based management of customer data and information, and the integration of its solutions. Tools Communicating with Software Industry 4.0 is touching the cutting tools industry from quote to delivery, according to Orris. “Tools are becoming ‘intellectual’ because that’s what’s needed in today’s industry,” he says. “Through sophisticated technology and embedded chips, tools are communicating with software to collect data that’s critical to achieving efficient manufacturing. Understanding the data and applying what’s learned is the key to efficiency.” The cutting tools industry traditionally relied on tribal knowledge – learnings through experience applied expertly to address new challenges and drive innovation he explained. But that is changing. “We’ve stopped looking back and are applying Industry 4.0 principals to become predictive,” he says. “Data collection and management allows the industry to apply predictive analytics. At ARCH , for example, we built out comprehensive data platforms that allow us to predict performance and enhance the return on investment for our customers by optimizing performance and avoiding unanticipated failures.” Does that mean smart tools don’t require a human component? “The human intellect, our experience and insight, the innovative nature of experienced professionals will always be critical to effective AI,” Orris points out. “Technology – including cutting tool technology – can’t exist and evolve without human blood, sweat and tears!” It’s in understanding how to use the data, and sometimes finding unforeseen uses for the data, that takes the insight and expertise of professionals, he added. “Data becomes stronger and more complete day after day, as it is collected,” Orris says. “But in our industry, it’s still all about the experience that applies what we’ve learned from the data. Experience and the principles of Industry 4.0 are complimentary. The tools of Industry 4.0 allow us to use our experience more effectively.” The digital cutting tools industry future The goals of manufacturing in the future are essentially the same as they were at the dawn of the first industrial revolution – reduce cycle time, reduce errors, boost productivity, improve quality, increase profitability. “Industry 4.0 principals have helped us reduce our own learning curve,” Orris notes. “The speed of change in today’s manufacturing demands an unprecedented nimbleness and rapid innovation. We need to position ourselves to apply our understanding of data so that we’re ready for anything. “Anything” can mean new materials, or a new variation of an existing material, new processes in manufacturing, or simply unforeseen demands or impacts on the manufacturing industry. “We’re successful,” Orris explains, “when we can effectively apply data to respond to a manufacturing challenge, rather than react to it. It’s a subtle difference, but responding leads to a direct solution, while reacting often wastes time in first trying to figure out a solution. At ARCH, we want to be the first responders of the cutting tool industry.” ARCH Cutting Tools had made a significant investment in its digital processes, Orris notes. This is important to creating customer value. With ARCH Specials, for example, applying a refined digital design based on customer data up-front in the production process, the need for design variations can be reduced by 50%. “With Industry 4.0, we are creating tools that are highly connected to their applications,” Orris added. “In the field, tools are mis-applied at a rate as high as 70%. Using our digital process, we focus on reducing that 70% to – ideally, 0. We’re always looking for ways to control variables and maximize efficiency.” The four Industrial Revolutions – historical overview Industry 4.0 is not a buzzword. It is a description of our current fourth industrial revolution – a historical evolution; following the previous three. Here are the four generally recognized industrial revolutions (all dates are circa): 1765 – production of goods becomes mechanized, and the world economy shifts from agricultural to industrial. Coal is the primary fuel, steam the primary power. Metal forging and cutting is standardized. 1870 – industry becomes faster and more efficient with the discovery/harnessing of electricity. The new fuels are gas and oil – powering more powerful, more efficient internal combustion engines. Metal forming becomes more sophisticated with these advanced techniques. Steel and newly developed chemical-based materials begin to take over the market. 1969 – industry enters the nuclear age (primary power in Europe, less so in the U.S.) and is dominated my electronic automation. Materials are becoming more diverse to meet new, expanding markets (aerospace, electronics, etc.) and materials handling in manufacturing becomes more complex. 2000 – for the first time, the primary changes to industry and to manufacturing are not driven by power, fuel, or materials; but are driven by information – data is the new driver. In the fourth industrial revolution, digitization has created a real-time connection between every process and component of manufacturing – design/engineering, the production line, delivery, even end-of-life disposal. The Industrial Internet of Things, cloud technology, AI – all these are merging the physical and virtual manufacturing worlds. Source: Adapted from - Meet the Three Industrial Revolutions Unit | Salesforce Trailhead   Miles 4 Manufacturing (M4M) began in Cincinnati, Ohio when GIE Media’s Manufacturing Group Publisher Mike DiFranco and others attending the AMT Global Forecast Meeting in 2013 decided to go for a run. The run turned into a race to the finish, and then a few post-run refreshments. The idea quickly evolved to make the run bigger and better, and M4M was born! Since the inaugural run in Chicago at IMTS 2014, M4M has continued to grow and move throughout the country. 100% of the proceeds from each M4M 5k goes toward equipment needed to further manufacturing education. The latest M4M 5k was held during the MFG2021 + MTForecast event in Denver Colorado. With another great turnout the runners hit the pavement at 6:45am and Rachel Wallis, regional sales representative for GIE Media’s Manufacturing Group took 1st place for women and 3rd overall. Congratulations to Rachel and all the other M4M 5k participants that continue to support manufacturing education. Including this run, M4M has raised more than $125,000 with 100% of the funds going directly to benefit students. Open Mind Tech , a developer of CAD/CAM software worldwide, teamed up with Haimer in Igenhausen, Germany to take on the challenge of 5-axis machining a panther out of aluminum. Haimer is a partner of the German Hockey League’s Augsburger Panthers but also designs, manufactures, and sells tool presetting machines, solid carbide cutting tools, toolholders to metalworking manufacturers. Haimer then contacted its CAD/CAM software partner, OPEN MIND Technologies in Wessling, Germany and got to work on the panther. It took the Haimer and Open Mind team approximately three weeks to complete the first free-standing panther. Once the machining parameters were in place and optimized, the approximately 20-inch-long panther was machined in less than 13 hours. In addition to being showcased by the Augsburger Panther hockey team, the panther model will be on display with Haimer and Open Mind at trade shows. “A model such as this one was a great opportunity to put the versatility and flexibility of our software to the test. hyperMILL has a wide range of functions that allow CAM users to truly optimize a machine’s capabilities to achieve the desired goal, including making intricate, challenging parts,” Open Mind Manager of Global Engineering Services Christian Neuner says. Jakob Nordmann, application engineer at Open Mind worked with Haimer applications engineer Daniel Swoboda to develop programming and machining infrastructure. The detailed mouth and incisors and the long and thin shape of the filigree tail section required two set-ups on a linear 5-axis DMG MORI HSC70 machining center. A four-flute cutter with a corner radius from the Duo-Lock Haimer Mill Alu series performed the roughing and finishing process, the full radius version of the solid carbide end mill from the Haimer Mill Alu series was used because of its micro-geometrical properties, designed for smoothness and top surface quality with help from Open Mind’s hyperCAD-S system. The hyperMILL Virtual Machining Center, a process-safe NC simulation solution where virtual machine movements fully mimic real movements and ensure reliable collision detection was also used to milled the panther. The Virtual Machining Center recognized the component couldn’t be processed in a basic orientation due to X-axis limited and automatically generated a solution for a workable position. Automotive, military, aircraft, and space systems have seen a surge of interest in hybrid and electric vehicle (EVs). It’s important to conduct driveline and component testing during design and manufacturing that’s adapted to hybrid and EVs to gain the efficiency benefits and green profile of these vehicles. Hybrid and electric drivetrains have several features making testing them different from the standard testing conducted on internal combustion (IC) only systems. Hybrid and electric systems use regenerative braking where braking generates power that is returned to and stored in the vehicle’s battery for later use, requiring AC inverter technology and transmissions. These vehicles have several module control units (MCU’s), small onboard computers, controlling the functions of the engine, transmission, and charging system. The test system needs to communicate with one or more of these units through high-speed in-vehicle networks to properly test components. Changing technology and increased complexity require a testing system very different, and more complex, than those used in IC-only systems. The technology is out there to ensure proper testing and realization of the energy efficiency benefits promised by hybrid and electric vehicles. The testing technology is energy efficient, reducing operations and maintenance costs, and contributing to the vehicle’s overall environmental performance. Types of hybrid/EV driveline testing Hybrid or electric driveline testing is conducted at several stages during the development of a vehicle, and each has an important role to play. Engineering testing – design engineers need precise measurements Accurate measurements are critical so design engineers can extract efficiency from their designs, or they will lose the advantage of using hybrid/electric technology. Most vehicles use 3-phase AC motors driven by inverter technology, so power analyzers need to measure 3-phase AC power with a large amount of harmonic content. Test systems are complex and sophisticated with many elements to be tested and coordinated. In-process, end-of-line testing – manufacturers verify performance and safety Manufacturing end-of-line testing verifies there are no defects introduced in the manufacturing process and the components will perform to specifications. Typical tests include operational validation, quick performance testing and testing to validate that high-voltage electrical systems are isolated and safe to use in vehicles. In-process testing conduct tests on partial assemblies along the production line, improving manufacturing efficiency and reducing the chance faulty components get into the finished product. Quality control testing – motor users look for defects in incoming product Quality control (QC) testing on components verifies that they perform over the specified range and free of defects. A forklift company may conduct QC testing on a shipment of imported electric motors scheduled to be placed inside their forklifts, using QC testing to verify the shipment coming from their supplier performs as specified and not experience high failure rates in the field. This test is less complex because it doesn’t measure to the degree of accuracy as those tested in engineering systems. Regenerative braking - basis of improvement in fuel economy Hybrid or EVs use 4-quadrant motor/inverter technology to assist the hybrid engines or as the prime mover in EVs. Four quadrant means the electric motor controls velocity or torque in either direction − the motor can accelerate, run, and decelerate forward or backward. During deceleration, the system uses regenerative braking, so the electric motor slows the vehicle and becomes a generator, recapturing the energy of motion and restoring it to the battery. In hybrid systems, when stopping, slowing down, or idling, the engine is shut off and not burning fuel. The electric motor again becomes a generator, recouping energy and storing it back in the battery. The engine is switched back on when needed to keep the vehicle moving or accelerating. The electric motor assists accelerating the vehicle, using the recaptured electrical energy to reduce the load on the engine, reducing fuel consumption. Using this recaptured power allows the vehicle to go longer between fill ups or charges, improving the fuel economy. The testing program used in designing and manufacturing ensures the powertrain is running efficiently and making the best use of this regenerative power. Testing systems for hybrid, EVs Testing hybrid and EVs is different from IC engine testing, which measures speed, torque, temperatures, pressures, and flows. Precise control of speed and torque is not required in testing IC engines so dynamometers used for IC engine testing weren’t designed to handle the precision required by hybrid or electric powertrains and can’t test the regenerative modes of operation. Modern hybrid/EV test systems provide the functionality of traditional systems to test high-power regenerative electrical drives, high voltage battery and charging systems, and communicating with any number of smart control modules (MCU’s). Electrical system testing Larger hybrid/electric drivetrains use higher voltage, efficiency drive systems. Going from the traditional 12/24-volt DC electric system to using 240 volts AC requires one-eighth or less of the current to deliver the same power. This is more efficient and requires much smaller/lighter wiring and smaller components to transfer the energy, leading to smaller, lighter, more energy efficient vehicles. Many current designs operate at 800 volts or more, making the vehicles more efficient. Use a 4-quadrant motoring dynamometer to conduct this type of testing and simulate/test all modes of operation in a hybrid or EV. Driving or loading in either direction is needed to test a system that operates in this manner. A standard dynamometer is not capable of testing the system during braking when in regenerative mode. Creation of high-efficiency, AC powered systems involves three-phase, inverter-based technology to control the electric motor. The systems are efficient but generate a great deal of harmonic distortion in the power output so modern hybrid/EV test system includes a three-phase power analyzer, specifically designed to measure high-power electrical values with harmonic distortion present. SAKOR developed HybriDyne, a comprehensive test system for determining the performance, efficiency, and durability of hybrid drivetrain systems, including electrical assist (parallel hybrid), diesel electric (serial hybrid), and fully electric vehicle systems. The HybriDyne integrates SAKOR’s DynoLAB powertrain and electric motor data acquisition and control systems with AccuDyne AC Motoring Dynamometers, and precision power analyzers, the modular HybriDyne tests individual mechanical and electrical components, integrated sub-assemblies, and complete drivetrains with a single system. High voltage battery simulation, testing High-voltage battery and charging system is an element of modern hybrid or EVs. You need to provide precise, repeatable high-voltage DC power to accurately test a high voltage hybrid or electric drivetrain. Battery performance changes depending upon their charge state, ambient conditions, and age so they aren’t acceptable for powering the DC components of a hybrid/EV test system. To achieve repeatable results, you need a reliable DC power source. A standard off-the-shelf power supply won’t work, it can’t absorb power from the regenerative system. A standard power supply used with a regenerative system may be damaged or destroyed. SAKOR developed a solid-state battery simulator/test system to test high-voltage hybrid vehicle batteries and simulate an electric drivetrain environment because of a line-regenerative DC power source. Absorbed power is regenerated back to the AC mains instead of being dissipated as waste heat during regenerative modes, providing greater power efficiency and reducing operating costs. The solid-state battery simulator/tester simulates the response of the high-voltage battery in real-world conditions. It provides repeatable results since it is not subject to variable charge. As a battery tester it subjects the battery to the same charge/discharge profile as it’d encounter in a vehicle on the road. The power absorbed by one unit can be re-circulated back to the other unit within the test system when using an AC dynamometer with a regenerative DC power source, reducing the power drawn from the AC mains by as much as 85% to 90%, and reducing the total cost. Communication with control modules Communication with individual control modules (MCU’s) is built into testing systems for hybrid or EVs. The engine was controlled using the throttle and ignition. Now, engines have an engine control unit (ECU) and have a separate MCU controling the electric drive and may have separate units controlling the transmission and/or charging systems. These units communicate commands and data between themselves through high-speed vehicle networks, such as CAN, LIN, and FlexRay. The test system must communicate with these control units simultaneously. The DynoLAB system was designed to integrate these separate units into a single, coordinated test platform.

Sense Photonics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Sense Photonics founded?

    Sense Photonics was founded in 2016.

  • Where is Sense Photonics's headquarters?

    Sense Photonics's headquarters is located at 3021 East Cornwallis Road, Durham.

  • What is Sense Photonics's latest funding round?

    Sense Photonics's latest funding round is Acquired.

  • How much did Sense Photonics raise?

    Sense Photonics raised a total of $35.96M.

  • Who are the investors of Sense Photonics?

    Investors of Sense Photonics include Ouster, Paycheck Protection Program, IPD Capital, Congruent Ventures, Prelude Ventures and 8 more.

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