Marlex Engineering Industrial Solutions

Detection of People and Obstacles

MARLEX Engineering specializes in the design and deployment of systems capable of detecting objects or persons inside a defined area. We employ a variety of different sensing technologies ranging from non-contact approaches such as ultrasonics, vision (cameras), radar, laser and RFID transponder, to force sensors that provide information about an object through contact. All these sensing techniques can either be used separately or integrated together to provide more information about a potential obstacle.

We have developed expertise in obstacle detection using multiple ultrasonic sensors. Our work with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to warn of the presence of personnel in the blind spots of construction vehicles has produced the commercially available SCAN~LINK Armour System.

Detection can be used to issue a warning, as in the case of a system that detects obstacles or people in the path of a reversing vehicle. Sensor data can also be collected and used by a central processor in an application such as autonomous vehicle navigation. Alternatively detection can be used to either enable or disable (lock-out) equipment when a person or object is present.

RFID Safety Solutions

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can be deployed in systems that are designed to reduce the risk of injury to people working around hazardous equipment.  Outfitting personnel with RFID transponders makes it possible to detect and warn when people are too close to dangerous moving equipment such as conveyor systems and large construction equipment.

See our RFID Solutions pages for more information about the different RFID safety solutions that we have developed.

RFID Perimeter Monitoring deployed on a section of the perimeter of a large vehicleWorker near outdoor conveyorequipmentRFID Perimeter Monitoring System for a crane bale

Parking & Reverse Assist

MARLEX has developed many custom parking-assist and reverse-assist solutions utilizing a variety of single and multi-sensor configurations and beam shapes. Our robust designs have seen widespread use through their installation in applications such as:

  • Passenger vehicles
  • Moving vans
  • Refueling vehicles
  • Heavy-duty construction equipment
  • Transport trucks
  • Military vehicles

Our patented sensing and signal processing technology allows our park-assist solutions to operate in extreme environments where they are routinely exposed to ice, snow and dirt.

The C-Back™ system is an example of an ultrasonics-based intelligent back-up sensor that was developed by MARLEX Engineering.

MARLEX has been able to utilize long-range narrow-beam ultrasonic sensing technology to provide an effective means for a freight transport vehicle to judge the location of loading docks and ramps during reversing operations. An LED light bar mounted to the side of the vehicle provides the operator with visual feedback about the bumper distance from the loading dock. The use of this technology has been proven to reduce the occurrence of damage to both the vehicle and the loading dock.

Reverse- Assist detecting cart in parking lot C Back™ detection of poleC Back™ Detection Zones Model of obstacle detection patternTransport truck backing up to a loading dock

Instrumented Bumper For Autonomous Vehicle

MARLEX Engineering Inc. bid on and won a contract with the Canadian Department of National Defence to develop an Instrumented Bumper for use on an Autonomous Robotic Vehicle. The Instrumented Bumper was developed for the Tactical Vehicle Systems Section of Defence Research and Development Canada – Suffield (DRDC-S) for use on an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV).

One of the requirements for the Instrumented Bumper is to provide a non-contact means for the autonomous vehicle to detect obstacles that are close to the front of the vehicle where they may not be visible to other longer-range navigational sensors. Another requirement is to provide a force sensing system that gives the vehicle the capability to test the resistance of obstacles in a chosen path by gradually increasing the force applied against the obstacle.

Instrumented Bumper for Autonomous VehicleInstrumented Bumper installed on autonomous vehicle platform

Presence Sensing Technologies

The ultrasonic obstacle detection technology developed by MARLEX has proven itself in the harshest of automotive environments. This same technology has been adapted to other applications to provide the capability of automatically enabling or disabling (lock-out) equipment when the presence of an object or person is detected.

MARLEX Engineering Inc. has developed several versions of single and dual-sensor Presence-Sensing Steps. These steps are currently in use in the Ontario cities of Oshawa, Whitby and Guelph as a safety feature on side-loading garbage trucks to disable the packer mechanism’s forward motion if a person is detected on the step.

We are continuously customizing our presence sensing technology for use in new and unique applications.

Presence Sensing Step installed on side-loading garbage truckPresence Sensing Step illustrating detection zone coveragePresence-sensing step detection of foot