Adaptive sensor fusion for optimised 3D sensing

Single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD) enable the detection and timing of individual photons of light and have become a key technology in applications such as automotive LIDAR and biomedical imaging. SPAD sensors are also increasingly used for 3D time-of-flight (ToF) imaging in mobile devices and wearables to assist AR/VR and computational photography. However, the high power consumption associated with 3D ToF currently represents a significant limiting factor in these applications.

This project will investigate a multi-sensor approach to 3D imaging, using a SPAD ToF in combination with other types of sensors, with the aim of substantially reducing power consumption. The sensor fusion and modulation of the ToF laser source will be adapted according to the sensed environmental conditions to ensure robust, power-efficient sensing. As part of the sensor fusion, lightweight neural network models will be developed for 3D reconstruction and object detection. The project will use existing sensors (SPAD, RGB, EVS, IMU) as a starting point, and develop a system around them, with closed-loop control and data fusion being implemented on a single-board computer.

The project is funded by Sony and will involve close engagement with Sony Europe Technology Development Center (EUTDC) in Trento, Italy, with the results of the project potentially informing the design of future SPAD sensors. The project would suit candidates with a background in Electronics/Computer Science and strong interest in image sensor technology and AI-based image processing, as well as a readiness to conduct physical experiments.

Please note, the position will be filled once a suitable candidate has been identified. 

Further Information: 

Relevant references:


[1] Della Rocca FM et al. (2020), A 128 × 128 SPAD Motion-Triggered Time-of-Flight Image Sensor with In-Pixel Histogram and Column-Parallel Vision Processor. JSSC, 55(7)

[2] Mora-Martín G et al. (2021), High-speed object detection with a single-photon time-of-flight image sensor. Opt. Express, 29.


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Closing Date: 

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 



Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home/EU and International students

Further information and other funding options.

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