Lumotive is a Seattle-based startup developing solid-state lidar for the automotive industry based on a revolutionary beam-steering technology. The beam-steering technology leverages semiconductor chips designed using metamaterials principles and enables our lidar systems to have an unprecedented combination of high performance and low cost. We believe our approach to lidar will revolutionize perception systems in the emerging self-driving car industry.
Beam steering using a liquid crystal metasurface
Beam steering is arguably the most critical and enabling part of the lidar system. Traditional lidar systems are based on mechanical scanning, which creates issues with reliability, cost, form factor, but most critically limits the performance of existing systems. Lumotive has developed a revolutionary beam steering technology called a liquid crystal metasurface which enables a truly solid-state lidar system with unprecedented resolution, range, and frame rate.
The video below illustrates the basic functionality of our beam steering chips. The incident laser beam is incident on the reflective semiconductor chip and is reflected in a programmable direction, depending on the electronic configuration of the metamaterial elements on the surface of the chip. The beam can be pointed in any direction, in any sequence.
Bill Colleran, Ph.D., J.D.
CEO & Founder
Bill Colleran has over 30 years of experience as an engineer, investment banker and entrepreneur. Prior to Lumotive, Bill was the CEO of AnswerDash, a leading provider of SaaS self-service support solutions which he led from 2015 through 2017. Prior to that, Dr. Colleran served as the CEO of Impinj, the world's leading provider of RFID systems, from 2001 through 2014. Before joining Impinj, Bill was Director of Business Development for Broadcom Corporation. He served as the CEO of Innovent Systems, Inc., developer of the world's first CMOS Bluetooth chip, which he led from inception through the company's sale to Broadcom in 2000. Dr. Colleran worked for Merrill Lynch’s Technology Investing Banking Group, financing transactions and acquisitions in the technology sector. He has extensive engineering-design experience, both as a consultant for several Fortune 500 companies and as a Senior Staff Engineer for TRW, Inc. (now part of Northrop Grumman). Dr. Colleran received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1993, M.S. from USC in 1985, his B.S. from Notre Dame in 1983, all in Electrical Engineering, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1996.
Gleb Akselrod, ph.D.
CTO & Founder
Gleb Akselrod has more than 10 years experience in photonics and optoelectronics. Prior to Lumotive he was the Director for Optical Technologies at Intellectual Ventures in Bellevue, WA, where he led a program on the commercialization of optical metamaterial and nanophotonic technologies. Before that he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics at Duke University, where his work focused on plasmonic nanoantennas and metasurfaces. He completed his PhD in 2013 at MIT, where he was a Hertz Foundation Fellow and an NSF Graduate Fellow. For his dissertation, he studied the transport and coherence of excitons in materials used in solar cells and OLEDs. Prior to MIT, Gleb was at Landauer, Inc. where he developed and patented a fluorescent radiation sensor that is currently being used by over 100k soldiers in the US Army. He holds 5 US Patents and has published over 25 scientific articles. Gleb received his B.S. in Engineering Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Conrad is based in Silicon Valley, California and is a serial entrepreneur who most recently sold his startup company, Innovalight, a nanomaterials technology firm specialized in the photovoltaics (solar) sector, to DuPont Corporation. Conrad has over 25 years of experience in multinational and technology startup companies including AT&T, NEC, Oclaro and OMM, spanning sectors from fiber-optics, semiconductors and nanotechnology to biofuels and renewable energy. He has extensive international experience having held management positions in Japan, the U.K., Germany, and the U.S. Conrad has also worked in private equity as a venture partner at Sevin Rosen Funds helping build young technology startup companies. He received the Technology Pioneer Award for cleantech energy innovations at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and he is also a recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Conrad has a B.S. in physics from University College Dublin and an M.S. in physics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
David Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. David R. Smith is the James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Duke University, where he also serves as Director for the Center for Metamaterial and Integrated Plasmonics. Dr. Smith’s research interests include the theory, simulation and characterization of unique electromagnetic structures, including photonic crystals, metamaterials and plasmonic nanostructures. Smith and his colleagues demonstrated the first left-handed (or negative index) metamaterial at microwave frequencies in 2000, and also demonstrated a metamaterial “invisibility cloak” in 2006. In 2006, Dr. Smith was selected as one of the “Scientific American 50.” Since 2009, Dr. Smith has continually been named a “Citation Laureate” by ISI Web of Knowledge for having among the most highly cited papers in the field of Physics. Dr. Smith is a co-recipient of the McGroddy Prize for New Materials, awarded by the American Physical Society, for “the discovery of metamaterials” (2013). Dr. Smith has recently been active in transitioning metamaterial concepts for commercialization, being a co-founder of Evolv Technology, Echodyne Corporation, Pivotal Commware, and advisor to Kymeta Corporation—all companies devoted to developing metamaterial products. Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in Physics from UCSD in 1994.
June 29, 2019 - TechCrunch - Startups at the speed of light: Lidar CEOs put their industry in perspective
April 2, 2019 - Optics.org - Lumotive solid-state lidar could guide autonomous vehicles
March 27, 2019 - Geekwire - How Lumotive will put metamaterials in self-driving cars, with Bill Gates’ backing
March 22, 2019 - TechCrunch - Gates-backed Lumotive upends lidar conventions using metamaterials
March 21, 2019 - IEEE Spectrum - Lumotive Says It’s Got a Solid-State Lidar That Really Works
March 20, 2019 - EE Times - Lidar Startup Uses Metamaterials to Steer Beams